The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) is getting serious about enforcing the do not call registry. The agency soon plans to begin collecting reports regarding the register in order to better track information and enforce rule violations. The FCC recently announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved the collection of information for three years.
In February, the FCC revised several rules that fall under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991. Rules that were revised include, requiring prior express written consent for all autodialed or pre-recorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and for all pre-recorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; the elimination of the established business relationship exception to the consent requirement for pre-recorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; requiring telemarketers to include an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism in all pre-recorded telemarketing calls, enabling consumers to more easily to opt-out of future robocalls during a robocall itself; and requiring telemarketers to comply with the three percent limit on hang-ups during each calling campaign.
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The attention to robocalling rules is particularly important, as abuses are on the rise, according to the FCC. So are consumer complaints.
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC (News - Alert)), which often works hand in hand with the FCC to enforce telemarketing rules, has gotten rather creative lately when it comes to addressing illegal robocalling: it’s turning to crowdsourcing. The agency says it’s offering a $50,000 prize for the best proposal to block unwanted robocalls, the FTC said this week.
In the announcement, the FTC said the solutions should block robocalls on both landlines and mobile phones and must be able to operate on a proprietary or non-proprietary device or platform. Entries can be proposed technical solutions or functional solutions and proofs of concept.