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S08674 Summary:

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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S08674 Actions:

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S08674 Memo:

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S08674 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                    IN SENATE
                                      May 10, 2018
        Introduced by Sens. HOYLMAN, CARLUCCI, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered
          printed,  and  when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy
          and Telecommunications
        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
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 8674                             2
     1  text  so  identified to be completed when it is identified as being made
     2  by a law enforcement or public safety entity, or when it  is  identified
     3  as  originating from a caller with respect to whom the called person has
     4  provided prior express consent to receive such a call or message and has
     5  not revoked that consent.
     6    (c)  "Prior  express  consent"  means  agreement  provided by a called
     7  person to allow the caller to make an  autodialed  call  to  the  called
     8  person's telephone, in relation to the specific subject matter for which
     9  the call is made.
    10    2.  It  shall  be unlawful for any person or entity to make any autod-
    11  ialed call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or  made  with
    12  the  prior  express consent of the called party) to any telephone number
    13  owned by a person or entity in the state.  A  customer's  prior  express
    14  consent  can  be  revoked  by the customer at any time in any reasonable
    15  manner, regardless of the context in which the  owner  or  user  of  the
    16  telephone provided consent.
    17    3. (a) A telephone service provider that provides telephone service to
    18  customers  residing  in  the state shall make call mitigation technology
    19  available to any such customer,  upon  request,  and  at  no  additional
    20  charge.  Such provider shall also offer to any such customer the ability
    21  to have the provider prevent calls and text messages identified as orig-
    22  inating from a particular person from  being  completed  to  the  called
    23  person, upon request, and at no additional charge.
    24    (b)  The  commission  shall  prescribe  regulations  to  implement the
    25  requirements of this subdivision, including, if appropriate,  a  reason-
    26  able  delay  in requiring implementation and offering of call mitigation
    27  technology  if  for  good  cause,  taking  into  account  the   consumer
    28  protection  purposes  of  this  section,  and  including  procedures for
    29  addressing incidents in which a call wanted by the customer is prevented
    30  from reaching the customer.
    31    4. (a) Any person harmed by a violation  of  the  provisions  of  this
    32  section, or of any regulations promulgated by the commission relating to
    33  this  section,  may  bring an action in any court of competent jurisdic-
    34  tion:
    35    (i) to enjoin such violation; and/or
    36    (ii) to recover for actual monetary loss from  such  violation  or  to
    37  receive five hundred dollars in damages for such violation, whichever is
    38  greater.
    39    (b)  If  the  court  finds  that  the defendant willfully or knowingly
    40  violated the provisions of this section or  and  regulations  prescribed
    41  hereunder,  the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the
    42  monetary award to an amount equal to  not  more  than  three  times  the
    43  amount available pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
    44    (c)  No action to recover damages for a violation of the provisions of
    45  this section may be brought more  than  four  years  after  the  alleged
    46  violation occurred.
    47    §  3.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    48  have become a law.    Effective  immediately,  the  addition,  amendment
    49  and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation
    50  of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made
    51  and completed on or before such effective date.
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