Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bills Seek to Make Do-Not-Call Registry Permanent

This posting was written by Tom Long, Editor of CCH Privacy Law in Marketing.

Proposals to amend the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act to eliminate the automatic removal of the telephone numbers registered on the Federal Do-Not-Call Registry have been introduced in both houses of Congress.

Currently, individuals’ numbers must be deleted from the registry after five years. Thus, people have to sign up again every five years. Registrations will begin to expire in June 2008.

The proposed “Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007” (H.R. 3541) was introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) on September 17. A similar bill (S. 2096) was introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) on September 26,

The automatic expiration of registrations after five years is unnecessary, Sen. Dorgan contends, because “most people who initially wanted to be rid of telemarketing calls likely still want to block these calls.”

The system in place automatically removed numbers that are disconnected and reassigned, he noted. Automatic expiration of all numbers will create “a hassle for Americans [who] start receiving calls again and the have to go through the process of re-registering,” he said.

In addition, the automatic removal and re-registering process will result in an expense for the U.S. government—which will have to launch a public awareness campaign to let people know that they need to manually sign up again.

H.R. 3541 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. S. 2096 was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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