In light of the ongoing pandemic, emergency call centers (ECCs) and public safety answering points (PSAPs) are faced with the question of whether to screen callers for COVID-19. The benefits of this screening will protect first responders—but on the other hand, ECC/PSAPs are concerned that screening callers may raise legal issues.
TLPC student attorney Kelsey Fayer drafted a white paper addressing whether ECC/PSAPs need to comply with privacy laws. First, caller screening information, if it is voluntary, likely satisfies relevant compliance requirements. Second, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) likely does not apply to PSAP/ECCs regarding a caller’s COVID-19 status. Finally, PSAP/ECCs should work with local public health authorities to implement privacy best practices. The white paper includes a 50-state chart mapping current PSAP/ECC practices around screening callers and state health privacy laws that may be applicable to PSAP/ECC COVID-19 caller queries.
(by Jake Stephens, Colorado Law 2L)
Student attorney Jake Stephens wrote a white paper updating federal and Colorado regulatory frameworks governing 911 accessibility, updating a white paper on the same topic published by the TLPC in 2015. This update covers recent developments in 911 access regulatory dockets at the FCC, a summary of a withdrawal of proposed updates to 911 accessibility regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act by the Department of Justice, and a glimpse into state 911 accessibility regulations with Colorado as the case study.
This semester, TLPC student attorneys Victoria Naifeh, Allison Daley, and Elizabeth Chance and student technologist Jeff Ward-Bailey worked with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s 911 task force to research the legal landscape surrounding 911 accessibility for the deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and speech disabled communities in Colorado. The final project, a white paper summarizing the research, is now available here and on the the Social Sciences Research Network: