Friday, October 08, 2004

Municipal emergency measures organizations seek access to unlisted phone numbers

The Fort Saskatchewan Record reports that municipalities are seeking the CRTC's Ok to have access to the full "911" database, including unlisted numbers, for coordinating emergency community notifications. The application is hitting privacy hurdles:

911 database access gains national support
City wants all phone numbers to warn people during emergencies

"A municipal application to gain access to the 911 database for an emergency response reason is gaining national backing despite potential privacy issues, says a city official.


The city and Strathcona County submitted an application this summer to the nation�s regulators of telecommunications, hoping to gain access to a system that constantly keeps track of active telephone numbers.

The application is under review by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, who have to consider a number of issues before approving the request.

"It's a privacy issue," says Worman, noting the Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has signed on.

Accessing to the database would allow cities to have every regional phone number, including unlisted ones, stored in their community notification systems, which is an emergency response mechanism that warns residents when disaster situations are at hand..."

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