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A10739 Summary:

BILL NOA10739
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08674
 
SPONSORNiou
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 91-b, Pub Serv L
 
Limits autodialed telephone calls to state residents and requires telephone service providers to offer free call mitigation technologies to telephone customers.
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A10739 Actions:

BILL NOA10739
 
05/16/2018referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
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A10739 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A10739
 
SPONSOR: Niou
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to limiting autod- ialed telephone calls to state residents and to require telephone service providers to offer free call mitigation technologies to tele- phone customers   PURPOSE OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to stop the scourge of robocalls in New York making it unlawful for any person or entity to make an auto-dialed call without the express prior consent of the consumer, which may be revoked at any time, and by requiring telephone service providers to offer free call-mitigation technology. The individual may enforce the rights guar- anteed under this bill through a private right of action.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 establishes that this shall be known as the "telephone consum- er privacy protection act." Section 2 amends the public service law by adding a new section 91-b that defines an "autodialed call," "call mitigation technology" and "prior express consent." It makes it unlawful for any person or entity to make any autodialed call, other than for emergency purposes, without prior express consent which may be revoked at any time. It also estab- lishes that a telephone service provider operating in the state must make call mitigation technology available to any customer, upon request, at no charge. Further it establishes that the public service commission shall prescribe regulations to implement the requirements herein and allow delay for implementation of call mitigation technology only for consumer protection purposes. Any person harmed by a violation of these provisions may bring an action in court. Section 3 states when this act shall take effect.   JUSTIFICATION: The annual number of robocalls increased from 14 billion in 2015 to 30 billion in 2017, a 115% increase in just three years. Unwanted robocalls have also disproportionately targeted New Yorkers, as the 917 area code in Greater New York City ranks as the 5th worst impacted area code in the United States. Increasingly lax oversight and the proliferation of new technology have lead to the rise in robocalls. Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act almost all non-emergency auto-dialed calls to mobile phones are illegal, but the exemptions are beginning to swallow the rules as businesses regularly successfully petition the Federal Communications Commission for exemptions to any restrictions. Furthermore landlines have almost no protections, disproportionately impacting the elderly. Technologically, the advent of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VOID) dial- ing has allowed companies to discharge millions of calls for pennies and spoofing, or the ability to fake a telephone number, makes consumers even more vulnerable to unwanted calls and scams. This technology has undermined the effectiveness of the federal government's Do Not Call Registry, which long protected Americans from telemarketers. This bill provides a common sense solution. No person or entity can make any robocalls to any person unless that person has consented to receive an autodialed call. That consent may be revoked at any time. Further- more, this bill places the onus on the telephone companies to provide technology to block robocalls. This technology currently exists, but is not widely available or easy to use. Telephone companies either provide complex set-up or charge additional for these services. From now on, this technology will be widely available and free. Consumers can enforce these new rights under a private right of action in any court. Robocalls are more than a nuisance. They undermine both privacy and safety, use up low-income consumer's limited minutes and subject consum- ers to harassing and intrusive telemarketing and debt collection tactics. With this bill, consumers will regain control and no longer have to suffer through a daily barrage of unwanted calls.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall 18 have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment 19 and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation 20 of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made 21 and completed on or before such effective date.
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A10739 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          10739
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      May 16, 2018
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. NIOU -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
 
        AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to  limiting  autod-
          ialed  telephone  calls  to  state  residents and to require telephone
          service providers to offer free call mitigation technologies to  tele-
          phone customers

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the  "telephone
     2  consumer privacy protection act".
     3    § 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 91-b to
     4  read as follows:
     5    § 91-b. Autodialed telephone calls. 1. As used in this section:
     6    (a) "Autodialed call" means:
     7    (i) A call made using equipment that makes a series of calls to stored
     8  telephone  numbers,  including numbers stored on a list, or to telephone
     9  numbers produced using a random or sequential number  generator,  except
    10  that the term does not include a call made using only equipment that the
    11  caller  demonstrates  requires substantial additional human intervention
    12  to dial or place a call after a human initiates the call  or  series  of
    13  calls;
    14    (ii) a call made using an artificial or prerecorded voice message; or
    15    (iii)  a  text message made using equipment that issues twenty or more
    16  texts at a time, or sends a series of nearly identical  texts  to  tele-
    17  phone numbers on a list, or to telephone numbers produced using a random
    18  or  sequential  number  generator, except that the term does not include
    19  texts that the sender demonstrates were sent to  the  sender's  personal
    20  acquaintances.
    21    (b)  "Call  mitigation technology" means technology that identifies an
    22  incoming call or text message as being, or as probably being, an  autod-
    23  ialed call and, on that basis, blocks the call or message, diverts it to
    24  the  called  person's  answering  system,  or otherwise prevents it from
    25  being completed to the called person, except that it permits a  call  or
    26  text  so  identified to be completed when it is identified as being made
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD15837-01-8

        A. 10739                            2
 
     1  by a law enforcement or public safety entity, or when it  is  identified
     2  as  originating from a caller with respect to whom the called person has
     3  provided prior express consent to receive such a call or message and has
     4  not revoked that consent.
     5    (c)  "Prior  express  consent"  means  agreement  provided by a called
     6  person to allow the caller to make an  autodialed  call  to  the  called
     7  person's telephone, in relation to the specific subject matter for which
     8  the call is made.
     9    2.  It  shall  be unlawful for any person or entity to make any autod-
    10  ialed call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or  made  with
    11  the  prior  express consent of the called party) to any telephone number
    12  owned by a person or entity in the state.  A  customer's  prior  express
    13  consent  can  be  revoked  by the customer at any time in any reasonable
    14  manner, regardless of the context in which the  owner  or  user  of  the
    15  telephone provided consent.
    16    3. (a) A telephone service provider that provides telephone service to
    17  customers  residing  in  the state shall make call mitigation technology
    18  available to any such customer,  upon  request,  and  at  no  additional
    19  charge.  Such provider shall also offer to any such customer the ability
    20  to have the provider prevent calls and text messages identified as orig-
    21  inating from a particular person from  being  completed  to  the  called
    22  person, upon request, and at no additional charge.
    23    (b)  The  commission  shall  prescribe  regulations  to  implement the
    24  requirements of this subdivision, including, if appropriate,  a  reason-
    25  able  delay  in requiring implementation and offering of call mitigation
    26  technology  if  for  good  cause,  taking  into  account  the   consumer
    27  protection  purposes  of  this  section,  and  including  procedures for
    28  addressing incidents in which a call wanted by the customer is prevented
    29  from reaching the customer.
    30    4. (a) Any person harmed by a violation  of  the  provisions  of  this
    31  section, or of any regulations promulgated by the commission relating to
    32  this  section,  may  bring an action in any court of competent jurisdic-
    33  tion:
    34    (i) to enjoin such violation; and/or
    35    (ii) to recover for actual monetary loss from  such  violation  or  to
    36  receive five hundred dollars in damages for such violation, whichever is
    37  greater.
    38    (b)  If  the  court  finds  that  the defendant willfully or knowingly
    39  violated the provisions of this section or  and  regulations  prescribed
    40  hereunder,  the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the
    41  monetary award to an amount equal to  not  more  than  three  times  the
    42  amount available pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
    43    (c)  No action to recover damages for a violation of the provisions of
    44  this section may be brought more  than  four  years  after  the  alleged
    45  violation occurred.
    46    §  3.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    47  have become a law.    Effective  immediately,  the  addition,  amendment
    48  and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation
    49  of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made
    50  and completed on or before such effective date.
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