OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6445 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS.

SUMMARY:

This bill allows telephone subscriber information in the enhanced
9-1-1 (E 9-1-1) database to be used in any emergency, not just life-threatening emergencies, when the information is collected to enable an emergency notification system (ENS) such as Reverse 9-1-1
. By law, (1) an ENS is a system used to notify the public of emergencies; (2) “subscriber information” is the name, street address, and telephone number in the E 9-1-1 database of a telephone used to place a 9-1-1 call or in connection with an ENS.

The bill adds subscriber email and mailing addresses provided to the state for ENS use to the subscriber information that is confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

*House Amendment “A” removes a provision in the original bill that eliminated the FOIA exemption in current law for subscriber information used in (1) responding to emergency calls and (2) investigating false or intentionally misleading reports of incidents requiring emergency service.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

E 9-1-1 SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION

By law, subscriber information may be used only for (1) responding to emergency calls, (2) investigating false or intentionally misleading reports of incidents requiring emergency service, or (3) enabling an ENS. Subscriber information provided for all three purposes is confidential and exempt from FOIA. The bill adds email and mailing addressees provided for ENS use to the ENS subscriber information that is exempt from FOIA, but it limits the FOIA exemption to ENS subscriber information provided to the state. This means, for example, that subscriber information provided by telephone companies to public safety answering points (PSAPs) is no longer exempt under this bill.

BACKGROUND

9-1-1, E 9-1-1, and PSAP

A 9-1-1 service allows callers to reach a PSAP by dialing 9-1-1. An E 9-1-1 service has telephone network features that allow PSAP personnel to automatically identify a caller's telephone number and location and direct appropriate emergency services to the scene (CGS 28-25). PSAPs are facilities that receive 9-1-1 calls and dispatch emergency response services (e. g. , fire and police) or transfer the calls to other public safety agencies.

E 9-1-1 Database Subscriber Information

The law outlines procedures governing release and use of database information. Each month, the E 9-1-1 service database provider must give the Office of State-wide Emergency Telecommunications (OSET) an electronic copy of the current subscriber information in the database. OSET must make this information available to the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and to each PSAP under a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Each PSAP that has entered into an MOU must make the information available to any municipality within the PSAP's jurisdiction that requests it (CGS 28-28a(a)).

Emergency Notification System

Emergency notification systems (e. g. , Reverse 9-1-1) are used to provide pre-recorded emergency telephone messages to targeted areas or entire cities at a rate of hundreds or thousands of calls per minute. The system can be used to warn residents of severe weather, hazardous material spills, pandemics, or other emergencies (CGS 28-25).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

24

Nay

0

(03/08/2011)

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

14

Nay

0

(03/30/2011)