New Legislation Suggests Implementing Emergency Alerts Into Streaming Services Like Netflix and Spotify
Thursday July 19, 2018 8:21 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Currently, when users in a certain area face potentially bad weather, threats of danger, or a nearby AMBER alert, their iPhone or other smartphone sounds off and displays a message explaining the emergency. In new legislation shared today, United States senators Brian Schatz and John Thune hope to "explore" ways this system could improve to enhance reliability, including implementing these alerts into audio and video online streaming services (via TechCrunch) According to the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act, more people would be successfully alerted to and aware of potential emergencies if these alerts played on services like Netflix and Spotify. In these situations, the legislation argues, users might have left their smartphone behind in another part of the house while streaming on a TV or computer, missing an alert in the process. Senator Schatz explained that the mishap with the false missile alert in Hawaii earlier this year "exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts," inspiring change and the new legislation. “When a missile alert went out across Hawai‘i in January, some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios. Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts,” said Senator Schatz, lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “Our bill fixes a number of important problems with the system responsible for delivering emergency alerts.