Regulatory Roundup: Q4 2023
January 22, 2024
To start off 2024 strong, it’s essential to keep up on the regulatory changes that occurred in Q4 of 2023. Here is a recap of the newest regulatory changes in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Do Not Call (DNC) legislation.
The FCC’s New Rule and Its Impact on Companies Marketing Through Purchased Leads
On December 13, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a new rule that will significantly alter the ability to leverage purchased leads for marketing and sales efforts using an automated telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice.
- One seller at a time: Businesses and comparison-shopping websites that generate leads will not be permitted to obtain a single consent from a consumer to cover multiple sellers
- One-to-one consent: Consent must come after disclosure to the consenting consumer that they will receive calls or texts from the designated seller. This eliminates the ability to leverage leads from mass marketing campaigns based on generic consent forms
- Logically and topically related: Calls or texts that result from consent obtained on a comparison-shopping website must be aligned with the purpose of the original website. For example, someone who signs up for mortgage quotes can’t be contacted about car loans, insurance, credit cards, or unrelated services
- National Do Not Call Registry: The FCC’s rule also formally extends the existing protections of the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry that apply to voice telemarketing calls to cover marketing text messages. Although many courts have interpreted that marketing text messages are already covered by the National DNC Registry framework as a subset of calls to wireless telephone numbers, these new FCC rules expressly codify this principle
It is expected this new rule will go into effect in 2025. For more information on this new rule and how it might impact your organization, click here.
New Jersey’s “Seinfeld Bill”
In May of 2023, the governor of New Jersey signed into law what has become known as the “Seinfeld Bill,” which requires telemarketers to provide the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is made, along with the purpose of the call, within the first 30 seconds of a call in which a telemarketer connects with a consumer.
The bill further bans unsolicited calls between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. at the person’s location and compels telemarketers to adhere more strictly to opt-out and do-not-call requests made by consumers. Under the new law, failing to abide by any of these requirements will put telemarketers at risk of a disorderly person (i.e., misdemeanor) charge in New Jersey.
The legislation became effective on January 1, 2024.
Maryland’s “Stop the Spam Calls Act”
Maryland’s “Stop the Spam Calls Act” prohibits making a telephone solicitation (which is defined as a communication by telephone with residents of Maryland to sell, lease, or rent goods or services) using an artificial/prerecorded voice or automated system for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers without prior express written consent of the called party.
Additionally, the new legislation includes the following:
- Prohibits placing calls or sending text messages outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the called party’s location
- Prohibits the calling party from placing more than three calls or sending more than three text messages to the same called party during a 24-hour period on the same subject matter or issue
- Requires the calling party to transmit its telephone number and name to any caller ID service being used by the called party
- Prohibits the calling party from intentionally displaying a different caller ID number for purposes of defrauding the called party
This legislation became effective January 1, 2024.
Wisconsin Senate Bill 531
In October, the Wisconsin Senate Bill 531 was introduced to amend current legislation and prohibit caller ID spoofing.
Under Senate Bill 531, telemarketers would be prohibited from:
- Transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information for any purpose, except to transmit the name of the seller on whose behalf the telephone solicitation is placed and the seller’s customer service telephone number if an individual may call that number to make a do-not-call request during regular business hours
- Blocking the transmission of caller ID information
To comply with Senate Bill 531, telemarketers would have to ensure that they are transmitting accurate caller ID information for all telephone solicitations. This means that the caller ID information must reflect the name of the seller on whose behalf the telephone solicitation is placed and the seller’s customer service telephone number. Telemarketers must also not block the transmission of caller ID information.
Additional information will be provided on Wisconsin Bill 531 as it becomes available.
For more information on how you can protect your business from potential lawsuits, fines or brand reputation damage, contact Gryphon today.
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