Thursday, February 07, 2008

Do-Not-Call Registry Bills Cleared for Presidential Approval

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

Congress on February 6 passed two bills that would make permanent the federal “do-not-call” registry for residential telephone subscribers who do not wish to receive telemarketing calls. Both bills would amend the “Do-Not-Call Implementation Act” (Public Law 108-10; 117 Stat. 557; 15 U.S.C. Section 6101 note), which was enacted in 2003.

The proposed “Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007” (H.R. 3541) would eliminate the automatic removal of telephone numbers listed on the registry. Currently, the statute provides that individuals’ numbers must be deleted from the registry after five years, so that people have to sign up again every five years. Without the amendment, registrations would begin to expire in June 2008, although the Federal Trade Commission stated last October that it would wait for Congressional action before purging the list. H.R. 3541 passed the House on December 11, 2007 and passed the Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent on February 6, 2008.

The other measure—the proposed “Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007 (S. 781)—would extend the authority of the FTC to collect fee to administer the registry to fiscal years after fiscal year 2007. That bill passed the Senate on December 17, 2007 and agreed to on a voice vote by the House on February 6, 2008.

The Congressional action drew a positive response from FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras.

“Congress has taken important steps reaffirming the continued success of the extremely popular Do Not Call program,” said Majoras. “The Commission is committed to protecting consumers from unwanted telemarketer calls, and the legislation announced today will enable us to continue to do it efficiently."

No comments: