Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou & Sen. Brad Hoylman Introduce Legislation to Fight Intrusive Robocalls

New York, NY – Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and Senator Brad Hoylman introduced legislation (A10739/S8674) with the aim to stop the scourge of robocalls in New York.

Since 2015, the number of unwanted robocalls has increased by 115%. This massive increase in robocalls has disproportionately hurt New Yorkers, the 917 area code in Greater New York City ranks as the 5th worst impacted area code in the United States.

New technology like the “Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol” (VOIP) and the ease at which fake call-back telephone numbers can be created has undermined the federal government’s “Do Not Call Registry,” which has long protected Americans from telemarketers. This bill will make it unlawful for any person or entity to make an auto-dialed call without the express prior consent of the consumer.

“Robocalls are more than just a nuisance, they allow companies to harass and scam hundreds of Americans every year,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “These robocalls have repeatedly targeted low-income and immigrant communities who are especially vulnerable to these type of scams. Recently, constituents in my district have been impacted by a robocall which specifically targeted the immigrant Chinese community. The robocall, which was recorded in Mandarin, purposely preyed on the vulnerabilities of non-English speaking communities. The reality is that new technology has made these types of calls cheap and easy to produce. Bad actors are able to more easily circumvent traditional consumer protections.

“As technology changes the relationship between consumers and businesses, we need to update our laws to reflect this new reality and not only maintain, but strengthen the consumer protections New Yorkers have relied on for decades. This bill is a strong step in the right direction as we work to protect New Yorkers from the threats and scams these robocalls bring. I thank Senators Hoylman and Carlucci for their work on this issue.”

“Like so many New Yorkers, everyone in my family has been annoyed by robocalls on a near daily basis. These robocalls are a scourge on the public-at-large, and my constituents have been vocal about the extent to which these calls infringe on their privacy and interrupt their daily lives,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “Enough is enough. By allowing robocalls to continue unabated, telephone companies effectively condone this harassment and undermine the broader public trust. Swift action is necessary, and I’m proud to sponsor legislation with Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou to put an end to the epidemic of robocalls."

"In New York we will not tolerate companies and bad actors who call our phones with prerecorded messages designed to scam us and obtain our personal information,” said State Senator David Carlucci. “This is why I support Senator Brad Hoylman's legislation to better protect New Yorkers against robocalls."