With more than a billion mobile phone owners, India is the world’s second largest market for mobile phones
. So far, the same mobile phones and smartphones have been sold as in the rest of the world. But the Indian government is now a special feature: From next year, each sold mobile phone and smartphone must have an integrated emergency button and a GPS transmitter. If this panic function is activated, a connection to an emergency center is established automatically. This can then accept the call and, if necessary, initiate relief measures. The GPS signal helps in determining the location of the caller. The measure is part of an initiative by the Indian government to fight crimes against women.
Also Samsung smartphones will have to integrate a panic button in the future.
Uber has already for some time integrated a panic button in the app
The Indian government gives exactly the same effect as the panic button: For a classic mobile phone, either the 3 button or the 9 button must be pressed longer. Modern smartphones, on the other hand, activate the panic button as soon as the power button is pressed three times. However, no further details have yet been disclosed. The private tax service Uber has already for some time already a similar service integrated into its app. After one of the company’s drivers raped a female passenger there, the company reacted by setting up their own 24-hour emergency call center. This can be achieved by pressing a corresponding button in the app.
The pressure on the government has increased again
India has tightened the penalties for rape and similar crimes in recent years but has not been able to solve the problem completely. On the contrary, the number of rapes increased by 201% in 2014 compared to the previous year. For this reason, retailers have been reporting for a long time that the sales figures for devices for self-defense – from pepper spray to beating – have grown massively. At the same time, the pressure on the government to solve the problem finally increased. The obligatory panic button can be a part of the solution, but only if the security forces respond adequately to a call for help.