ESA: Two House Bills Could Impact How Central Stations Operate, Interact With Customers

The Electronic Security Association is alerting its members that two bills being considered in the House Communications, Technology and Internet sub-committee could impact the way central stations operate and interact with their customers.

On September 22, Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Penn.) introduced H.R. 3621, the “Call Center Consumer’s Right to Know Act,” which would require employees of any U.S. company or its subsidiary using call centers to disclose the physical location of the employee at the beginning of the phone call. The bill also requires the companies to certify their compliance with this mandate to the Federal Trade Commission every year. In the bill, a call center is defined as “…a location that provides customer-based service and sales assistance or technical assistance and expertise to individuals located in the United States via telephone, the Internet, or other telecommunications and information technology.”

Introduced on October 1, H.R. 3717, also called the “Kelsey Smith Act,” seeks to amend the Communication Act of 1934. The Kelsey Smith Act aims to facilitate more responsive coordination between law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies and wireless cell phone carriers during emergencies involving missing persons. The bill requires wireless phone companies to swiftly respond to law enforcement requests for location information of victims who are in jeopardy of death or serious physical harm. It has been referred to the House Communications, Technology and Internet sub-committee chaired by Rep. Boucher (D-Va.) and ranking member Rep. Stearns (R-Fla.).

ESA notified the Alarm Industry Communications Committee, comprised of representatives from the Central Station Alarm Association, ESA, the Security Industry Association and major alarm companies and manufacturers, of these two bills. ESA will continue to monitor them and work in coordination with the AICC to get a collective industry position on them. ESA will also be in contact with each of these representatives’ offices to find out more information.

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