FCC Approves Privacy, Security Plan for 9-1-1 Indoor Location Database
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Comments

The FCC approved the privacy and security plan for the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD), submitted Feb. 3 by national wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Verizon, as well as NEAD LLC.

NEAD, which is being developed to identify the dispatchable locations of wireless 9-1-1 callers when the caller is indoors, is a database that will enable wireless providers to use media access control (MAC) address and Bluetooth public device addresses (BT-PDA) information of fixed indoor access points to locate wireless devices being used to call 9-1-1.

The FCC said the plan is consistent with the requirements outlined in the indoor location fourth report and order and addresses the need to protect the privacy, security and resiliency of the NEAD.

The plan describes “comprehensive controls” to support the security and resiliency of the NEAD platform. The administrative, physical and technical controls the drafters of the plan selected are drawn from the leading cybersecurity frameworks and standards, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework; the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001 Information Security Management Standard; the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) IV Working Group 4 Report; and Center for Internet Security (CIS) Critical Security Controls.

The plan also provides that administrative controls will include policies and procedures for personnel, such as background checks for all personnel with access to the NEAD platform. Physical controls will include employee and personnel security procedures, badge access to facilities, biometric access to sensitive areas, as well as various perimeter defenses and continuous physical security patrol and facility monitoring.

The FCC requested comments on the plan in March. The full order is here.

Last year, NEAD, an independent entity established by CTIA, selected West's Safety Services to develop and operate the NEAD platform.

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