Published in Personal Injury on October 2, 2015.
This past Wednesday three counties in Indiana rolled out new technology allowing for people to text 911 for emergencies. These counties are, Tipton, Bartholomew and Fayette. It is currently only available for Verizon Wireless customers, but the other carriers will soon be on board. The government is not allowed to search or track our cellular phones without a warrant. It is important that while texting you first state your location. Most, if not all 911 calls cannot locate where you are if you are using a cell phone. Texting to 911 could be very helpful for the hearing impaired or if you want to keep quiet while reporting an emergency.
There are some important questions that need answered and many more issues this technology could raise. If I am from Marion County, but I happen to be in Tipton, or any of the counties participating in the 911 texting, would I be able to use this feature? What is stopping people from masking their text number and faking emergencies? Will the good faith exception to the warrant requirement be enough for admission of evidence if illegal items are found while responding to a fake text emergency? Will people eventually have to consent to their phones being traced to use this service?
What do you think about this technology and possible issues do you see arising from its implementation?