- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Cellphone service providers in Iowa would be required to release to authorities location information about a device during an emergency under a measure a House panel approved Monday.

Members of a public safety subcommittee advanced the bill, which would require wireless communications service providers to give the information to authorities during an emergency that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm. It now moves to a full committee for consideration.

The bill would allow the state Department of Public Safety to maintain a database of the information.

The measure closely mirrors the Kelsey Smith Act, which has passed in several other states including Pennsylvania and Oregon last year. Smith was 18 years old when she was abducted and killed in Kansas in 2007. Her cellphone provider took days to release location information about her cellphone, which she had on her at the time of the abduction.

Many providers already comply with such a request from authorities, said Sgt. Adam Buck of the Iowa State Patrol.



Lobbyist Marty Ryan, who registered against the bill, represents a group that offers a subscription service to customers whom follow such issues. He said the bill is poorly worded in different areas, including the broad definition of authorities who could request the cellphone information.

Dustin Blythe, a lobbyist for AT&T;, said the company supports the bill but he asked that language be added to it that would allow officials at public safety call centers to also request the information. The centers help dispatch emergency calls to authorities.

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