Press Release Consumer Privacy

Public Knowledge Welcomes FCC Action to Enhance 911 Location Accuracy While Protecting Consumer Privacy

November 13, 2019 , , , , ,

This week, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would vote on a Fifth Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to adopt a vertical, or “Z-axis,” metric to enhance location accuracy for wireless E911 calls. This feature would make it easier for First Responders to locate all Americans who call for help — no matter where they are. 

The Order also clarifies that enhanced geolocation information collected for 911 cannot be disclosed by carriers except as required by law. Earlier this year, Public Knowledge filed an ex parte urging the Commission to increase privacy protections for location data; we applaud the Commission for taking these consumer privacy concerns seriously.

The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“This action by the Commission is a major milestone for both public safety and consumer privacy. We thank Chairman Pai for clarifying that enhanced geolocation information collected for 911 purposes requires the highest degree of protection by carriers. We also thank Commissioner Starks and Commissioner Rosenworcel for their persistence and leadership on this issue.

“We applaud the Commission for setting an aggressive timetable for deployment of new, life-saving location technologies, and we urge all carriers to move quickly to deploy them.”