In India, all mobile phones will have a panic button by 2017. Women can quickly turn on the button to seek help for emergency services. The government has announced that all smartphones to be sold in the country must have a panic button from next year. From 2018, all handsets must also support GPS so that the police can easily identify the location of victims.
The button is intended to protect Indian people especially women from sexual harassment. In 2015, a record number of 2095 women were recorded who were victims of sexual abuse in the capital New Delhi.
According to the Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules 2016, every feature phones will have the facility of a panic button configured to the numeric key 5 or 9 and all smartphones will have the panic button configured to three times short pressing of the on-off button.
Smartphone users can press three times on the on / off button to notify the emergency services. In cheaper phones, the user need only to press the 5 or 9 buttons.
“Technology is designed to make life easier. And what is a better goal than the protection of women.”
said Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of communications and technology.
“I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button and from January 1, 2018, mobile sets should have inbuilt GPS”
Pressing the button will alert the relatives and friends of the victim as listed by her as well as the police.