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Torontonian Android Users May Be Dialling 911 Unknowingly

On Friday evening a Twitter post was released from the Ontario Provincial Police stating there was a surge in 911 hang-up calls at its communication centers, which may be linked to Androids.

“I don’t personally have an android, but I have friends who do and they’ve said their phones made calls to 911 - but they never dialed 911,” said Troy Barran, a resident in Toronto.


The post from OPP said that Android has recently had a software update that could have turned on the emergency SOS setting for users.


The new Android software update could initiate emergency calls without the user knowing, according to the OPP’s Twitter post.


“My Samsung didn’t make any emergency calls over the weekend,” said Raffiné DeCoito, the server at the restaurant The Keg in Toronto.


“I already changed my emergency contact to my brother's cell number in my settings a while back - so maybe that’s why I didn’t experience the accidental phone calls to 911,” said DeCoito.  


Contrastingly other Samsung users made posts stating their cell phones did make emergency calls. The OPP’s post included a diagram of how to turn off the Emergency SOS feature, under the settings menu.


According to the diagram, android users would first have to search for “Emergency” in the top settings search bar. Then users would need to locate the Emergency SOS and switch it off.


The OPP also added, ‘make sure the 911 lines are open for life-threatening emergencies,’ to its Twitter post.


Twitter user @ScoyneChris posted a tweet in response to the OPP’s post saying, “My SOS is turned off and my Samsung is still calling 911.”


@JanGilkes said in their Twitter post, “It happened on mine when doing a restart – but I was able to catch it in time.”


Other Twitter users such as @StephanieHope33 posted, “Turned it off, thanks for the heads up.”


As numerous residents own Android cell phones in Toronto, it seems many users are experiencing a mix of no effects and 911 calls unknowingly being made.


On the Android Inc. website, Samsung, Motorola, Google Pixel, and the OnePlus cell phone companies are listed – therefore, may be experiencing the software error.


The company Android Inc. and parent companies have yet to comment on this situation involving its recent settings update, causing emergency calls made to the Ontario Provincial Police.


Edited by Kavya Venkateshwaran


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