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Canada readies emergency alert system on smartphones

A system to alert Canadians to natural disasters and other public safety emergencies via their smartphones is another step closer to reality, reports the Financial Post. “But the government is closely managing the rollout of a complex system where errors can lead to mass panic, as witnessed earlier this year when people in Hawaii received a false alert of an imminent nuclear attack on their mobile devices.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a plan to raise awareness of the mobile warning system that can send messages, distinct vibrations and sounds to millions of smartphones in situations posing imminent threats to the safety of life or property. Wireless operators must be able to deliver such messages over LTE networks by 6 April. Wireless providers, emergency management officials, various levels of government and Pelmorex, owner of The Weather Network, plan to launch a public education campaign after receiving the green light from the CRTC. “While Public Safety Canada is the lead department for emergency management, the CRTC is involved since it regulates the broadcast and telecom providers that distribute the alerts.” Read more

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

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