|SAME AS||SAME AS S08674|
|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.|
|05/16/2018||referred to corporations, authorities and commissions|
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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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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. LBD15837-01-8A. 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.