The Pa. House has passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Joe Hackett (R-Delaware) to protect the privacy of people who call 9-1-1.
House Bill 1041 provides an exemption to the state’s Right-to-Know law for records containing identifying information to an individual calling a 911 center unless a court determines public interest in disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure.
“In this world of high-tech electronic media, it’s easy to decipher someone’s name and address even when a 9-1-1 call center provides only cross streets,” Hackett said. “But the identity of the caller must be kept confidential to prevent cases of retribution against informants and to ensure the public has a sense of safety and privacy when reporting a crime or other emergency.”
Hackett noted that it was never the legislative intent of the Open Records Act of 2008 to provide the public with any information that could reveal the identity of 9-1-1 callers.
“To do so would place callers in danger,” Hackett said.
The bill now moves to the Senate.