For as long as most users can remembers, Skype has come with a warning that it cannot be used to place 911 calls. Microsoft has just announced that this is now changing for users of the Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS version of the app.
The application is now labelled as offering “Limited emergency calling”. What this means, for now, is that Skype users in the US are able to place 911 calls using the app, bringing it in line with a handful of other countries. More than this, Skype can help emergency operators to locate you if necessary — but there are some limitations to the new functionality.
While been possible for people in Australia, Denmark, Finland and the UK to place emergency calls for a while, the US has missed out until now. An advisory note on the Skype website reads: “Skype is not a replacement for your telephone and has limited emergency calling capabilities depending on your country”.
Click through to find out more, and Microsoft says:
Skype now supports emergency calls to 911 in the United States.
You can also enable 911 emergency location sharing to permit Skype to automatically capture and share your location with emergency operators when making a 911 call. Your location will only be shared in the event you dial 911 for the purpose of routing your call and providing location information to your local emergency operator.
If you are operating from a device that does not have an API for location sharing or are in a location where location sharing is unavailable, your location will not be shared automatically with the emergency services operator.
The company goes on to detail how to let emergency operators know where you are:
In Skype, select your profile picture.Select Settings,then select Privacy.Turn 911 emergency location sharing on. You will need to acknowledge the Notices & Disclosures and the Special 911 Warning of Limitations & Unavailability to complete the process. You can disable 911 emergency location sharing at any time, but this means your address will not be shared with 911 in case of an emergency.
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