Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-375 Public utilities: local publicly owned utilities: release of customer information.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 02/09/2017 09:00 PM
AB375:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 375


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

February 09, 2017


An act to amend Section 6254.16 of the Government Code, and to amend Section 2891 of, to amend the heading of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8380) of Division 4.1 of, and to add Section 8382 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to customer privacy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 375, as introduced, Chau. Public utilities: local publicly owned utilities: release of customer information.
(1) The California Public Records Act requires that public records, as defined, be open to inspection at all times during the hours of a state or local agency and that every person has a right to inspect any public record, with specified exceptions. Existing law prohibits the act from being construed to require the disclosure of certain information concerning utility customers of local agencies, but provides for the disclosure of some of that information, specifically the name, utility usage data, and home address of a utility customer, upon court order or the request of a law enforcement agency relative to an ongoing investigation.
This bill would instead provide for the disclosure of that information to a law enforcement agency only in response to a warrant issued pursuant to specified criminal procedures.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
(2) Existing law prohibits telephone and telegraph corporations from releasing certain information regarding residential subscribers without their written consent, except in specified circumstances, including when information is provided to a law enforcement agency in response to lawful process.
This bill would permit the release of that subscriber information to a law enforcement agency in response to a warrant issued pursuant to specified criminal procedures instead of in response to lawful process.
(3) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, while local publicly owned utilities are generally under the direction of their governing boards. Existing law prohibits an electrical corporation, gas corporation, or local publicly owned electric utility from sharing, disclosing, or otherwise making accessible to any 3rd party a customer’s electrical or gas consumption data, except as specified. Existing law does not preclude those entities from disclosing that data as required or permitted under state or federal law or, if applicable, by an order of the commission.
This bill would prohibit the commission, public utilities, local publicly owned utilities, and cable corporations from disclosing to a law enforcement agency personally identifiable information of customers or aggregate information from which an individual’s identity or characteristics may be determined, unless either the customer consents or the disclosure is made pursuant to a warrant issued pursuant to specified criminal procedures instead of in response to lawful process.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6254.16 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6254.16.
 Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require the disclosure of the name, credit history, utility usage data, home address, or telephone number of utility customers of local agencies, except that disclosure of name, utility usage data, and the home address of utility customers of local agencies shall be made available upon request as follows:
(a) To an agent or authorized family member of the person to whom the information pertains.
(b) To an officer or employee of another governmental agency when necessary for the performance of its official duties.
(c) Upon court order or the request of a To a law enforcement agency relative to an ongoing investigation. in response to a warrant issued pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1523) of Title 12 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.
(d) Upon determination by the local agency that the utility customer who is the subject of the request has used utility services in a manner inconsistent with applicable local utility usage policies.
(e) Upon determination by the local agency that the utility customer who is the subject of the request is an elected or appointed official with authority to determine the utility usage policies of the local agency, provided that the home address of an appointed official shall not be disclosed without his or her consent.
(f) Upon determination by the local agency that the public interest in disclosure of the information clearly outweighs the public interest in nondisclosure.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2891 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2891.
 (a) No telephone or telegraph corporation shall make available to any other person or corporation, without first obtaining the residential subscriber’s consent, in writing, any of the following information:
(1) The subscriber’s personal calling patterns, including any listing of the telephone or other access numbers called by the subscriber, but excluding the identification to the person called of the person calling and the telephone number from which the call was placed, subject to the restrictions in Section 2893, and also excluding billing information concerning the person calling which that federal law or regulation requires a telephone corporation to provide to the person called.
(2) The residential subscriber’s credit or other personal financial information, except when the corporation is ordered by the commission to provide this information to any electrical, gas, heat, telephone, telegraph, or water corporation, or centralized credit check system, for the purpose of determining the creditworthiness of new utility subscribers.
(3) The services which that the residential subscriber purchases from the corporation or from independent suppliers of information services who use the corporation’s telephone or telegraph line to provide service to the residential subscriber.
(4) Demographic information about individual residential subscribers, or aggregate information from which individual identities and characteristics have not been removed.
(b) Any residential subscriber who gives his or her written consent for the release of one or more of the categories of personal information specified in subdivision (a) shall be informed by the telephone or telegraph corporation regarding the identity of each person or corporation to whom the information has been released, upon written request. The corporation shall notify every residential subscriber of the provisions of this subdivision whenever consent is requested pursuant to this subdivision.
(c) Any residential subscriber who has, pursuant to subdivision (b), given written consent for the release of one or more of the categories of personal information specified in subdivision (a) may rescind this consent upon submission of a written notice to the telephone or telegraph corporation. The corporation shall cease to make available any personal information about the subscriber, subscriber within 30 days following receipt of notice given pursuant to this subdivision.
(d) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Information provided by residential subscribers for inclusion in the corporation’s directory of subscribers.
(2) Information customarily provided by the corporation through directory assistance services.
(3) Postal ZIP Code information.
(4) Information provided under supervision of the commission to a collection agency by the telephone corporation exclusively for the collection of unpaid debts.
(5) Information provided to an emergency service agency responding to a 911 telephone call or any other call communicating an imminent threat to life or property.
(6) Information provided to a law enforcement agency in response to lawful process. a warrant issued pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1523) of Title 12 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.
(7) Information which that is required by the commission pursuant to its jurisdiction and control over telephone and telegraph corporations.
(8) Information transmitted between telephone or telegraph corporations pursuant to the furnishing of telephone service between or within service areas.
(9) Information required to be provided by the corporation pursuant to rules and orders of the commission or the Federal Communications Commission regarding the provision over telephone lines by parties other than the telephone and telegraph corporations of telephone or information services.
(10) The name and address of the lifeline customers of a telephone corporation provided by that telephone corporation to a public utility for the sole purpose of low-income ratepayer assistance outreach efforts. The telephone corporation receiving the information request pursuant to this paragraph may charge the requesting utility for the cost of the search and release of the requested information.
(11) Information provided in response to a request pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 530.8 of the Penal Code.
(e) Every violation is a grounds for a civil suit by the aggrieved residential subscriber against the telephone or telegraph corporation and its employees responsible for the violation.
(f) For purposes of this section, “access number” means a telex, teletex, facsimile, computer modem, or any other code which that is used by a residential subscriber of a telephone or telegraph corporation to direct a communication to another subscriber of the same or another telephone or telegraph corporation.

SEC. 3.

 The heading of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8380) of Division 4.1 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  5. Privacy Protections for Energy Consumption Data

SEC. 4.

 Section 8382 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8382.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “cable corporation” means a corporation or firm that transmits or provides television, computer, or telephone services by cable, digital, fiber optic, satellite, or comparable technology to customers for a fee.
(b) Consistent with Section 6254.16 of the Government Code and Section 2891, except as otherwise specified in Section 588, and notwithstanding any other law, the commission or a public utility, as defined in Section 216, local publicly owned utility, or cable corporation shall not disclose to a law enforcement agency personally identifiable information of a customer or aggregate information from which an individual’s identity or characteristics may be determined, unless one of the following requirements is met:
(1) The customer whose information is subject to disclosure is notified of the identity of the agency seeking the disclosure and provides written consent to the disclosure.
(2) The disclosure is made pursuant to a warrant issued pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1523) of Title 12 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.

SEC. 5.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which amends Section 6254.16 of the Government Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
This act balances the right of the public in general, and law enforcement agencies in particular, to access relevant information about utility operations and customers, to ensure that appropriate respect is shown for individual privacy and civil rights in law enforcement matters.

SEC. 6.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which amends Section 6254.16 of the Government Code, furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:
This act balances the right of the public in general, and law enforcement agencies in particular, to access relevant information about utility operations and customers, to ensure that appropriate respect is shown for individual privacy and civil rights in law enforcement matters.