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Opinion: CA 911 Call Bill Lacks Balance

PRIVACY—U.S.

April 25, 2012

In a column for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Delores Combs discusses two complications inherent in a recently proposed bill that would limit public access to 911 emergency phone calls. Proposed by Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), AB 1275 would prevent public access to 911 calls containing medical information. Combs argues there are two complications "that indicate there is still a need to fine-tune the bill." The first complication stems from whether HIPAA covers a treatment team. "The HIPAA issue is debatable and one that requires further legislation or a legal decision to be clarified," Combs writes. The second complication highlights the "tension between the need for transparency in government and the duty to protect a caller at their most vulnerable." Editor's Note: For more on this topic, see "Assessing public information in the digital age" in this month's edition of The Privacy Advisor.
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