ROCHESTER, Minn. – As we’ve learned this past week, in an instant, you could find yourself in an emergency situation. iPhone users can activate what’s called the Medical ID feature, which provides medial information about you that may be helpful in an emergency.
Through the Health app, there’s a Medical ID tab, clicking on that allows users to input as much or little information as they would like. Examples include; name, picture, blood type, any medical conditions, and emergency contacts. All of which can be accessed by anyone, even if the phone is locked.
Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson says the feature is well-intentioned, however users run the risk of personal information getting into the wrong hands should a phone be lost or stolen.
Torgerson says they have equipment to get into locked phones should an investigator need to contact a next of kin for example. But as far as identifying someone, he explains the process is much more complicated.
“It’s not a simple, easy, pick up the phone and be sure. Even if the phone is there next to an individual and they’re injured or killed, you still have to be sure. The phone is not going to be the only answer,” Torgerson says.
One thing he does suggest is using the ICE method, where you add ICE (which stands for in case of emergency) next to the names of your emergency contacts in your phone address book. This is something that Torgerson says most law enforcement officials will recognize.
This story was originally published by News 4 sister station KIMT, a Media General Contributing station.