California Senate Approves Consumer Call Protection Act
October 9, 2019
Consumer Call Protection Act
The California State Senate has approved the Consumer Call Protection Act of 2019, SB-208. The bill aims to protect consumers from unsolicited robocalls and enact provisions supported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) into Federal law.
Under the Act, the Public Utilities Commission of California (Commission) would be empowered to work with the attorney general to enforce these laws. The Commission will also require that telecommunication providers authenticate or verify caller identification information for calls made via an internet protocol network.
Further, the bill dictates that telecommunication providers must enact the Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Secure Handling of Asserted information toKENs (SHAKEN) protocols (or comparable technology), which require that all outbound calls be issued with a digital “token” that call recipients will verify. The call will be authenticated if the tokens match. If they do not, the recipient will be alerted.
Supporters of the legislation note that the federal government has so far failed to require companies to enact STIR and SHAKEN protocols by a specific date. They argue that on the other hand, this legislation will require companies to act by a hard deadline to ensure consumer protections.
One concern, however, is the expensive cost of the technology that the bill requires telecom companies to implement, as additional costs may be passed on to consumers since the legislation does not require companies to cover the costs.
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