The Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on May 18th to examine the impact of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The legislation was intended to cut down on telemarketing and robocalls to consumers. The hearing comes after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year clarified and updated how the law is applied.
The agency authorized service providers to start offering robocall-blocking technology and made it clear that automated texts were covered under the same rules as calls and voicemails.
The new amendments extend the reach of regulatory bodies, and far surpass the Do Not Call (DNC) registry and the need for list scrubbing and simple opt-outs, to stay compliant. The amendments extend the protections to consumers, now covers text-messaging based marketing, and includes new rules concerning auto dialers, among other important updates. Furthermore, the amendment eliminates assumed consent based on an existing business relationship. Awareness of the new rules will keep your business in good graces with your clients, prospects and the regulators, not to mention saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in possible penalties for infractions.
The Senate Commerce hearing will include several industry witnesses, including representatives for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. Also testifying will be Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R) and Margot Saunders, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center.
"The hearing will also examine the Federal Communications Commission's application of the TCPA to new technologies and practices popularized since adoption of the Act," the Committee said in a release.
The upper chamber has a busy week ahead, with lawmakers also taking up a hugely popular Email Privacy bill (H.R.699). The bill is on the May 19th agenda for the Senate Judiciary Committee, but a strange quirk in the Committee's practices means the legislation will likely not be voted on until a week later.
There are questions about how the Committee may change the bill before it reaches the Senate floor.
Privacy advocates agreed to tweaks to a similar House bill last month that allowed it to get approved in a 419-0 vote. Any differences between the House and Senate Legislation would have to be worked out if it has a chance of making it to President Obama's desk.
CLICK HERE for information about Email Privacy bill (H.R.699).
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker