Friday, December 07, 2007

FCC Proposes Permanent Do-Not-Call Registrations

This posting was written by William Zale, Editor of CCH Privacy Law in Marketing.

The Federal Communications Commission announced on November 27 that it has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on whether to require telemarketers to honor registrations with the National Do-Not-Call Registry beyond the current five-year registration period.

Under this proposal, telemarketers would be required to honor a registration indefinitely, until the registration is cancelled by the consumer or the telephone number is removed by the database administrator because it was disconnected or reassigned.

Since the opening of the National Do-Not-Call Registry was announced in June of 2003, more than 145 million telephone numbers have been placed on the Registry, according to the agency. Under the current rules, registered numbers will begin to expire in June 2008 and may be dropped from the Registry, unless consumers take steps to re-register the numbers.

The FCC proposes making registrations permanent to alleviate the inconvenience to consumers of having to re-register their preferences not to receive telemarketing calls, and to enhance consumer privacy protections.

The Federal Trade Commission announced on October 23 that it will not remove any telephone numbers from the registry, pending final Congressional or agency action regarding whether to make registration permanent. When the registry was developed, the Commission adopted a five-year re-registration mechanism under the telemarketing sales rule. The list was to be periodically purged of disconnected or reassigned numbers to ensure accuracy.

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