H. B. 2046
(By Delegates Perry and P. Smith)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[March 13, 2013]A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requiring wireless telecommunications carriers to provide location information to law-enforcement agencies in emergencies; permitting wireless communications carriers to establish protocols for disclosure of location information in an emergency; limiting liability of wireless communications carriers when acting in good faith; requiring wireless telecommunications carriers and resellers to provide emergency contact information; requiring the West Virginia State Police to maintain emergency contact database; and, granting rule-making authority.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §15-3-10, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.
ARTICLE 3. COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS FOR POLICE PURPOSES.
§15-3-10. Disclosure of location information; emergency situations.
(a) Upon request of a law-enforcement agency, a wireless telecommunications carrier internet account provider shall provide location information concerning the telecommunications device of the user to the requesting law-enforcement agency in order to respond to a call for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, nothing in this section prohibits a wireless telecommunications carrier internet account provider from establishing protocols to respond to a law enforcement agency request for location information in an emergency situation or a call for emergency services.
(c) No cause of action shall lie in any court against any wireless telecommunications carrier internet account provider, its officers, employees, agents or other specified persons for providing location information while acting in good faith and in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(d) (1) All wireless telecommunications carriers internet account provider registered to do business in the State of West Virginia or submitting to the jurisdiction thereof and all resellers of wireless telecommunications services shall submit their emergency contact information to the West Virginia State Police in order to facilitate requests from a law-enforcement agency for location information in accordance with this section. This contact information must be submitted annually by June 15th or immediately upon any change in contact information.
(2) The State Police shall maintain a database containing emergency contact information for all wireless telecommunications carriers internet account provider registered to do business in the State of West Virginia and shall make the information immediately available upon request to all public safety answer points in the state.
(e) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall prescribe and promulgate reasonable rules to fulfill the requirements of this section no later than July 1, 2014.
(f) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Kelsey Smith Act.”
NOTE: The purpose of this section is to require wireless telecommunications companies to release location information of a missing person's cell phone in a timely manner to law enforcement in emergency situations, rather than requiring a judge's order. The bill limits a company’s liability. The bill also grants rule-making authority.
This section is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.