India’s Answer to Sex Attacks? Panic Buttons and GPS on All Phones
Officials in India hope to combat the threat of sexual violence against women and girls by requiring panic buttons to be installed in every new phone by January, and for every phone to be equipped with GPS by 2018.
The announcement in April by Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister of communications and information technology, means that manufacturers would have to create a button designed to alert the police and an owner’s friends or relatives in the event of distress, or create a similar system that is activated by pressing the buttons 5 or 9. India does not yet have a nationwide emergency response number.
印度通信和信息技术部(Ministry of Communications and Information Technology)部长拉维·尚卡尔·普拉萨德(Ravi Shankar Prasad)在今年4月发布了这份声明，它意味着手机厂商将必须为自己出产的手机设计一个呼救按钮，让手机用户可以在遭遇危险时向警方、自己的朋友或亲友发出警报，或创造一个类似的系统，让用户可以通过按数字5或9来启动该系统。目前，印度还没有一个全国通用的应急响应号码。
It is not clear how this change would be put in effect or how manufacturers would create a panic button.
Two of the country’s largest phone suppliers, Samsung and Apple, would not comment on the policy change. Lava, a fast-growing Indian telecommunications company; the Indian Cellular Association; and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology also did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
在印度最大的几家手机供应商中，三星(Samsung)和苹果(Apple)不愿就此政策变化置评。业务快速增长的印度手机厂商Lava、印度手机协会(Indian Cellular Association)，以及印度通信和信息技术部也没有回应时报的置评请求。
Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst with International Data Corporation, a global market research firm, said that India’s requirement was rare in the global phone market, and that companies that build and sell low-cost phones in India might be affected more than large companies like Apple. He said that many phones sold in India cost less than $20 and were not equipped with features like GPS. Adding such functions, Mr. Kaur said, could raise the price of phones by at least 50 percent.
全球市场调研公司国际数据公司(International Data Corporation)的分析师基兰吉特·考尔(Kiranjeet Kaur)表示，印度的这类要求在全球手机市场中非常少见，而且在印度生产和销售低价位手机的企业所受影响可能会比苹果等大公司要更大。他表示在印度销售的手机有许多价格低于20美元，本身没有GPS之类的功能。考尔称，如果厂商为之添加此类功能，其售价可能上涨至少50%。
He noted that several companies already offered options like those proposed.
“There are a few apps that can be used on smartphones that serve the same function as a panic button,” Mr. Kaur wrote in an email. “The Uber app in India has a S O S button, too. There are a couple of third-party apps, too, like the bSafe app. Motorola smartphones in India come with an emergency button option.”
But Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, India’s minister of women and child development, said manufacturers were on board. She said in a statement that the requirements would create a “safety net” for women and girls, and thanked phone manufacturers for agreeing to bring about “historic change.”
不过，印度妇女与儿童发展部(Minister of Women and Child Development)部长玛内卡·桑贾伊·甘地(Maneka Sanjay Gandhi)称，各个手机厂商已经表示会予以配合。她在一份声明中表示，这些要求将为妇女和女孩打造一个“安全网”，还对同意帮助实现“这一历史性改变”的手机厂商表示感谢。
India’s wave of sexual assault has created an industry of companies that offer services to people who want to take their safety into their own hands — for a price.
One Touch Response, a subscription-based service, can deploy employees to escort people home or go to their aid when they are summoned via an app or a phone call.
采用订阅模式的“一键响应”(One Touch Response)服务可以派工作人员护送用户回家，或在用户通过app或拨打手机发出召唤时前去帮助他们。
Arvind Khanna, the company’s founder, said in an email that the need for personal safety in India has created a $5 billion market that is growing by 20 percent a year.
“We currently serve over 35,000 paid subscribers along with hundreds of ‘Pay As You Go’ users,” he wrote. “Over 40 percent of our users are women.”
India is one of the fastest-growing markets for cell phones in the world, but in some cases, women are not allowed to carry them. In February, Reuters reported that several villages in western India had begun banning women and girls from using phones on the rationale that the devices interfered with their studies or allowed them to elope.
“Let them study, get married, then they can get their own phones,” Ranjit Singh Thakor, president of a local council, told the news service. “Until then, they can use their fathers’ phones at home, if necessary.”
“让她们先学习、结婚，然后才能拥有自己的手机，”一个当地委员会的主席兰吉特·辛格·撒克(Ranjit Singh Thakor)告诉路透社。“在那之前，如果有必要，她们可以在家使用父亲的手机。”
Also unanswered by officials is the matter of which service will answer the distress calls. A gang rape in 2012 drew a nationwide outcry, but Indian women who report their attacks still face understaffed police forces that operate on bribes, a court system that is backlogged with cases and a culture more focused on protecting the victims’ modesty than with catching and prosecuting attackers.
“If you’re a woman in distress, the last thing you want to do is go to the police,” Vrinda Grover, a human rights lawyer based in New Delhi, told The New York Times in 2013.