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AB-956 Telecommunications: automatic dialing-announcing devices: emergency alert notifications. (2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/07/2019 09:00 PM
AB956:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 07, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 956


Introduced by Assembly Member Diep
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cooper, Daly, Lackey, and Quirk-Silva)

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Sections Section 2872 and 2891 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 956, as amended, Diep. Telecommunications: automatic dialing-announcing devices: residential subscriber information: emergency alert notifications.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to control and regulate the use of automatic dialing-announcing devices. Existing law prohibits a person from operating an automatic dialing-announcing device except as specified. Existing law expressly provides that the use of automatic dialing-announcing devices by law enforcement agencies, fire protection agencies, public health agencies, public environmental health agencies, city or county emergency services planning agencies, or any private for-profit agency operating under contract with, and at the direction of, one or more of these agencies, for specified purposes relating to public safety and emergencies is not prohibited.
This bill would expressly provide that the use of automatic dialing-announcing devices by those entities to test the enhanced 911 emergency telephone system for data accuracy and emergency alert notification system capabilities is also not prohibited.

Existing law prohibits a telephone or telegraph corporation from making certain categories of personal information available to any other person or corporation without first obtaining the residential subscriber’s consent in writing, except as specified.

This bill would expressly provide that the prohibition does not apply to information provided to an emergency service agency for the purpose of issuing an emergency alert notification to communicate an imminent threat to life or property, or for the purpose of testing the emergency alert notification system.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2872 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2872.
 (a) The connection of automatic dialing-announcing devices to a telephone line is subject to this article and to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission.
(b) A person shall not operate an automatic dialing-announcing device except in accordance with this article. The use of such a device by any person, either individually or acting as an officer, agent, or employee of a person or corporation operating automatic dialing-announcing devices, is subject to this article.
(c)  A person shall not operate an automatic dialing-announcing device in this state to place a call that is received by a telephone in this state during the hours between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. California time.
(d) This article does not prohibit the use of an automatic dialing-announcing device by any person exclusively on behalf of any of the following:
(1) A school for purposes of contacting parents or guardians of pupils regarding attendance.
(2) An exempt organization under the Corporation Tax Law (Part 11 (commencing with Section 23001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code) for purposes of contacting its members.
(3) A privately owned or publicly owned cable television system for purposes of contacting customers or subscribers regarding the previously arranged installation of facilities on the premises of the customer or subscriber.
(4) A privately owned or publicly owned public utility for purposes of contacting customers or subscribers regarding the previously arranged installation of facilities on the premises of the customer or subscriber or for purposes of contacting employees for emergency actions or repairs required for public safety or to restore services.
(5) A petroleum refinery, chemical processing plant, or nuclear powerplant for purposes of advising residents, public service agencies, and the news media in its vicinity of an actual or potential life-threatening emergency.
(e) (1) This article does not prohibit law enforcement agencies, fire protection agencies, public health agencies, public environmental health agencies, city or county emergency services planning agencies, or any private for-profit agency operating under contract with, and at the direction of, one or more of these agencies, from placing calls through automatic dialing-announcing devices, if those devices are used for any of the following purposes:
(A) Providing public service information relating to public safety.
(B) Providing information concerning police or fire emergencies.
(C) Providing warnings of impending or threatened emergencies.
(D) Testing the enhanced 911 emergency telephone system for data accuracy and emergency alert notification system capabilities.
(2) Calls authorized by this subdivision shall not be subject to Section 2874.
(f) This article does not apply to any automatic dialing-announcing device that is not used to randomly or sequentially dial telephone numbers, but that is used solely to transmit a message to an established business associate, customer, or other person having an established relationship with the person using the automatic dialing-announcing device to transmit the message, or to any call generated at the request of the recipient.
(g) The commission may determine any question of fact arising under this section.

SEC. 2.Section 2891 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
2891.

(a)A telephone or telegraph corporation shall not 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 excluding billing information concerning the person calling 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 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 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 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 an emergency service agency for the purpose of issuing an emergency alert notification to communicate an imminent threat to life or property, or for the purpose of testing the emergency alert notification system.

(7)Information provided to a law enforcement agency in response to lawful process.

(8)Information that is required by the commission pursuant to its jurisdiction and control over telephone and telegraph corporations.

(9)Information transmitted between telephone or telegraph corporations pursuant to the furnishing of telephone service between or within service areas.

(10)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.

(11)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.

(12)Information provided in response to a request pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 530.8 of the Penal Code.

(e)Every violation of this section is 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 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.