In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) introduced this bill to ensure that law enforcement can access mobile providers' location data when trying to locate a person in danger:
"What happened to Kelsey Smith was an absolute tragedy. This bill, named in her memory, will give law enforcement officials more
effective tools to try and prevent horrible crimes like this from
happening again. It provides a narrow emergency exception that preserves
the privacy of cell phone users, but removes red tape so police can act
quickly in an emergency. It strikes the right balance, which is why
we’ve seen more than twenty states pass similar legislation."
This legislation was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of three cosponsors
— including two Republicans and one Democrat. In the 113th Congress, it
was also passed by the committee but didn’t receive a floor vote. 23
states have passed versions of this bill, and a variation has been proposed in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Of Note: This legislation is named after Kelsey Smith,
an 18 year old from Kansas who was abducted after grocery shopping and
murdered. Police found her car and immediately began searching for her,
but her cell phone information wasn’t turned over for four days and when
it was, authorities found her in 45 minutes. Her provider had said that
it couldn’t turn over location data.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Daniel Rehn)