Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve rules to ensure 911 operators are given the location of 911 callers who are using cell phones indoors. The order requires the carriers to submit a security and privacy plan to protect the device location information that would be collected under the rules.
Public Knowledge supports this action and encourages the FCC to continue to implement privacy protections as we move forward in the technology transitions.
The following can be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Senior Staff Attorney of Public Knowledge:
“Public safety and privacy are both critical fundamental values that guide our communications networks. These values do not need to conflict with each other if policymakers ensure that we consider the privacy implications of new technologies before we have implemented them.
“Today the FCC has recognized the importance of privacy interests and begun the work of protecting personal information about how and where consumers use their cell phones and WiFi-capable devices. However, this is only the beginning. There is much work left to be done to ensure the network protects users’ privacy by its very design. We expect the Commission to continue to work on this important issue in the context of E911 and the technology transitions to ensure our critical information networks are secure and protect users from third-party corporate or government surveillance.
“We are glad the FCC has improved the effectiveness of the proposed roadmap from CTIA, APCO, and NENA. Transitions to new technologies, including wireless, should leave no one behind. We expect the Commission will continue to evaluate carriers’ location accuracy measures and ensure help will come to those who call 911.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.