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Emergency call locations set to be tracked

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017

The location of people making calls to emergency services will soon be automatically tracked as the result of new technology and privacy laws.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards recently amended the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code to allow for caller locations to be collected to help respond to emergencies faster.

"In the last year, the police recorded over 1800 incidents in which they had to make a special request to a network operator for information about the caller's location," he said.

"Quick and automated access to location information about emergency callers should help to reduce this figure."

With a "state-of-the-art" computer system providing the technology needed to log caller locations, Mr Edwards said it was important privacy laws were updated to match.

"This system does not require individual consent, so I have required robust transparency and accountability obligations," he said.

"I want the public and the agencies using this system to have confidence in it."

The amendment comes into force on March 2.

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