Fraud Web Page.
Fraud: What You Need to Know, FTC Web Page.
Fraud, AARP web page.
in US Bancorp, Minnesota Attorney General.
Agreement in US Bancorp, Minnesota Attorney General.
reveals tricks of trade, MSNBC, April 21, 2003.
Agrees To Stop Selling Personal Information, Newsbytes, January 26,
Telemarketers Settle Fraud Charges, Newsbytes, April 12, 2001.
Nixes Telemarketers Offering Y2K Credit Card Insurance, Newsbytes, June
Agrees To, Pay $3.5 Million In FCC Slamming Case, Newsbytes, June 6,
Forced To Stop False Advertising, Newsbytes, May 1, 2000.
US West Declares
Victory Against Slammers, Newsbytes, April 28, 2000.
Privacy Sold Out, Multinational Monitor, June 1999.
Money Is Safer Than Your Privacy, Washington Post, July 22, 1999.
Announces Settlement with Telemarketing Firm, Washington State AG Office,
December 5, 1996.
Patrick E. Michela, "You May Have Already Won . . . " Telemarketing
Fraud and the Need for a Federal Legislative Solution, 21 Pepperdine
Law Review 553 (1994).
Telemarketers use special telephone tools to maximize the number of outgoing
calls that the company can make. One of the more obnoxious tools is the "predictive
dialer." Predictive dialers make many calls at the same time, and connect
the telemarketer to the first person who answers the phone. Call recipients
who pick up the phone after the first recipient hear "dead air,"
or a telephone call with no one on the other end, and are disconnected. In
the telemarketing industry, the call recipients who hear dead air are termed
Some predictive dialers attempt to delay the recipient from hanging up the
phone by sending a ring signal to the phone. Many people will remain on the
line after hearing the ringing tone, increasing the likelihood that the next
available telemarketer will capture the "abandoned call." If the predictive
dialer calls a busy line or a line with an answering machine, it automatically
schedules the line to be called again later.
The telemarketing industry is aware that predictive dialers cause frustration
and the 2002 proposed changes to the TSR would prohibit the use of predictive
dialers where they produce "dead air."
Telemarketing 2000: Prepare for a Hostile Environment, Wetzler (DMNews.com).
- Predictive Dialing by Marketel.
"The Mk.II immediately connects calls to telemarketers so that it is completely
transparent to your customers. They will never know that they have been
called by a predictive dialer!"
- Teletechplus Autodialer.
Teletech's autodialer can randomly dial phone numbers in order to contact
persons who are not in telemarketing databases. Additionally, when the system
makes a call, "it can either leave an answering machine message or interact
with a live caller. The system can obtain responses from people by recording
their voice answers, asking them to press touch-tone keys to respond to
the questions, or by transferring them to a live operator. The system has
the ability to make up to 1,000 per line per day, and you will have the
ability to schedule your autodialing campaigns days or weeks in advance."
Phone Companies Profiteer from Telemarketing Sales and Avoidance of Telemarketing
Phone companies sell both the tools that enable telemarketing and products
to help individuals avoid sales calls. To enable telemarketing, phone companies
sell dialing equipment, the lines and infrastructure that enable calling multiple
persons at one time, and lists of new customers. To help individuals avoid
telemarketing, the phone companies sell unlisted numbers, caller ID, and systems
such as Privacy Manager.
Predictive Dialers. "...for automating outbound telemarketing campaigns.
Predictive Dialer systems place calls specified by your computer database,
screen non-productive calls such as busy signals, answering machines and
no answers, and connect your agents with live respondents. Your business
is able to contact more customers and increase revenues, while keeping call
volume and work activity at a constant, productive level."
Residential "New Telephone Hookups" Marketing List: "Our
New Telephone Hookups list provides detailed information about new residents
within 24 hours of their arrival so you can reach them first. No one gives
you more timely or more accurate information. In fact, we guarantee 95%
deliverability so you don't waste your valuable marketing budget telemarketing
or mailing to dead-end leads. With coverage of Qwest's 14-state region,
you can pinpoint prospects in your target audience who are new to the neighborhood
and looking for reliable products and services just like yours. Make sure
you win their business."
State Action to Address Telemarketing
In 1991, with the passage of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Federal
Communications Commission was directed by Congress to create a national do-not-call
(DNC) database for persons who wished to opt-out of telemarketing calls. The
FCC failed to create this database. Because of federal inaction on consumer
protection in telemarketing and other areas, many states have taken action
to address citizen's desires to avoid sales calls.
States have addressed telemarketing in many ways. Some states have passed
DNC lists. A DNC list is a database of individuals who wish not to be contacted
by telemarketers. Some states have allowed individuals to enroll in DNC lists
over the Internet. Initiating a telemarketing call to a person on the DNC
list can result in fines. It is important to note that many states have exemptions
to the DNC list for certain types of telemarketing. These exemptions may include
newspaper telemarketing, public opinion poll calling, calling on behalf of
an elected politician or candidate, telemarketing where there was a prior
business relationship with the call recipient, and telemarketing on behalf
of charitable organizations.
Some states have enacted "no rebuttal statutes." These laws require
the telemarketer to end the call when the consumer indicates that she is not
interest in the product being sold.
In a similar vein, some states have enacted "permission to continue
laws." These statutes require the telemarketer to gain the consumer's
permission or interest in the product before continuing the sales pitch.
Telemarketer application, registration, and bonding is required in many states.
However, many states exclude well-established businesses from these requirements.
Some states have restricted the hours in which a telemarketer can initiate
a sales call beyond the times specified in the TSR. The TSR limits sales calls
to the hours of 8 AM to 9 PM in the recipient's time zone.
In order to protect consumers, over half the states require certain telemarketing
transactions to be memorialized in a written contract.
Last, some states have supplemented federal law with stronger protections
against junk faxes.
Marketing Association maintains the most up-to-date information on state
telemarketing regulation. Additionally, the AARP has a explanation
of the state DNC lists and enrollment procedures.
Public Service Commission. Alabama provides its citizens with a DNC
list and a requirement for a written sales contract for certain telemarketing
transactions. Additionally, telemarketers cannot make sales calls on Sundays
Consumer Protection Unit. Alaska provides its citizens with a DNC list,
a requirement that telemarketers register before telemarketing in the state,
a requirement for a written sales contract for all telemarketing transactions,
and the requirement that consumers be able to return goods purchased through
telemarketing for a certain period of time. These rights cannot be waived
Attorney General. Arizona requires telemarketers to register with state
authorities. Additionally, a written sales contract is required for some
- Arkansas Attorney General.
Arkansas provides its citizens with a DNC list, prohibits telemarketers
from blocking caller ID, has a no rebuttal law, and requires a written sales
contract for certain telemarketing transactions.
- California Attorney General.
California's DNC list became effective in 2003. Additionally, a written
sales contract is required for some transactions.
- Colorado Public
Utilities Commission. Colorado's DNC list will become effective in Summer
Department of Consumer Protection. Connecticut provides its citizens
with a DNC list, a prohibition on blocking caller ID, a prohibition on telemarketers
reselling contact information, and a requirement of a written sales contract
for certain telemarketing transactions.
Attorney General. Delaware requires a written sales contract for certain
telemarketing transactions and registration for telemarketers.
- Florida Division
of Consumer Services. Florida provides its citizens with a DNC list,
requires telemarketers to register with the state, and requires a written
sales contract for certain telemarketing transactions.
- Georgia Public Service
Commission. Georgia provides its citizens with a DNC list. Additionally,
telemarketers must reveal the name and telephone of the business on whose
behalf the call is being made before the solicitation begins.
- Idaho Attorney General.
Idaho provides its citizens with a DNC list, a no rebuttal law, and requires
a written sales contract for certain telemarketing transactions.
Attorney General. Illinois provides its citizens with a DNC list, a
no rebuttal law, a permission to continue law, and requires a written contract
for certain telemarketing transactions,
Attorney General. Indiana provides its citizens with a free DNC list
with penalties ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.
Attorney General. Kansas has a no rebuttal law, limits on the use of
autodialers, and a requirement of a written contract for certain transactions.
- Kentucky Attorney
General. Kentucky provides its citizens with a DNC list, however it
is riddled with exemptions. For instance, publicly traded corporations,
investment brokers, insurers, real estate brokers, and magazine, cable TV
and newspaper providers are exempt. Additionally, Kentucky has a no rebuttal
law, a permission to continue law, and a written sales contract requirement
for certain telemarketing transactions,
- Louisiana Public
Service Commission. Louisiana's DNC program will begin in April 2002.
The program requires telemarketers operating in the state to post a $20,000
bond, and has a $1,500 penalty for violation. Additionally, the state requires
a written sales contract for certain telemarketing transactions.
- Maine Secretary
of State. Maine has instituted a DNC list by requiring telemarketers
to use the Direct Marketing Association's DNC list.
Attorney General. Maryland requires a written sales contract for certain
Attorney General. Massachusetts requires a written sales contract for
certain telemarketing transactions.
Attorney General. Michigan requires a written sales contract for certain
- Minnesota Attorney
General. Minnesota requires a written sales contract for certain telemarketing
transactions. Additionally, sales calls for funeral or burial services are
prohibited in some circumstances.
- Mississippi Public
Service Commission. Mississippi has a no rebuttal law and a written
sales contract requirement for certain transactions,
- Missouri Attorney General.
Missouri provides its citizens with a DNC list.
Department of Administration. Montana requires a written sales contract
for certain telemarketing transactions.
Hampshire Attorney General. New Hampshire requires telemarketers to
provide a customer service phone number for complaints when making sales
- New York State Do
Not Call Telemarketing Registry. New York provides its citizens with
a free DNC list.
- Nevada Attorney General.
Nevada requires a written sales contract for certain telemarketing transactions.
Mexico Attorney General. New Mexico requires a written sales contract
for certain telemarketing transactions.
Carolina Utilities Commission. North Carolina has a permission to continue
law and a requirement for a written sales contract for certain telemarketing
Dakota Attorney General. North Dakota requires a written sales contract
for certain telemarketing transactions.
Attorney General. Ohio requires a written sales contract for certain
- Oregon No Call
List Website. Oregon provides its citizens with a DNC list that is operated
by a private contractor. Oregon also has a no rebuttal law and a permission
to continue law.
Attorney General. Pennsylvania has telemarketer registration, a no rebuttal
law, and a requirement for a written sales contract for certain telemarketing
Island Attorney General. Rhode Island requires a written sales contract
for certain telemarketing transactions.
Carolina Public Service Commission. South Carolina has a no rebuttal
Dakota Attorney General. South Dakota has a no rebuttal law, a permission
to continue law, and a requirement for written sales contracts for certain
Regulatory Authority. Tennessee provides its citizens with a free DNC
- Texas Public Utility
Commission. Texas' DNC list will be effective in April 2002. It provides
for a $1,000 fine in case of violation.
Division of Consumer Protection. Utah has a no rebuttal law and a requirement
for a written sales contract for certain telemarketing transactions.
Attorney General. Vermont requires a written sales contract for certain
Attorney General. Virginia requires a written sales contract for certain
Attorney General. Washington has a no rebuttal law and telemarketer
- Wisconsin State
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Wisconsin's
DNC list is still being developed. Wisconsin requires a written sales contract
for certain telemarketing transactions.
Attorney General. Wyoming developed a DNC service by requiring telemarketers
to use the Direct Marketing Association's DNC list. Additionally, telemarketers
must register with the state and pay a $500 fee.
There are commercial products that may reduce the number of telemarketing
These devices work in different ways. Some send a signal over the line when
the phone rings. The signal indicates that the line is disconnected to telemarketers
using predictive dialers. This type of product only works against telemarketers
who use predictive dialers. Smaller telemarketing companies may not possess
predictive dialers, and would evade the device.
Other devices play a prerecorded message for the telemarketer requesting
that the call recipient be placed on a do-not-call list. There are also services
offered by some phone companies that will automatically screen calls that
are sent without caller id (CID) information.
Telephone companies themselves offer some services that can help individuals
avoid telemarketing calls. These services include Caller ID, anonymous call
rejection, and phone services that require the caller to give identification
before the recipient's phone line will ring.
Telemarketing and Workplace Privacy
Individuals who work in telemarketing call centers experience invasive monitoring.
The telemarketing business is privacy invasive both to its workers and to
its customers. Callers are regularly monitored for speed in making calls and
the number of times they use the customer's name. For more on this issue,
please visit the EPIC Workplace
face new restrictions, MSNBC, February 12, 2003.
on the Cold Calling?, Some Telemarketers Changing Strategy, Washington
Post, January 4, 2003.
USA Settles State Suits Over Telemarketing Partners, Wall Street Journal,
December 31, 2002.
Plans Registry To Block Sales Calls, Telemarketers Vow To Fight Proposal,
Washington Post, December 18, 2002.
Finding Ways to Zap Telemarketing Calls, New York Times, December 18,
OPINIONS: Long-overdue measures to silence telemarketers, Atlanta Journal
Constitution, September 26, 2002.
Prepares for DNC Legal Challenge, DMNews, August 5, 2002.
away at consumer privacy/Complaints on shared data rise, San Francisco
Chronicle, July 28, 2002.
That Ringing Cellphone May Be a Telemarketer's Call, New York Times,
July 5, 2002.
Telemarketers May Be Overcalling, DM News, June 20, 2002.
idea could get telemarketers to stop calling, USA Today, June 5, 2002.
Proposes National Do-Not-Call List For Telemarketers, Yahoo News, June
the Calls! The case against telemarketers, National Review, May 30,
Privacy Mailings Are Hard to Decipher, Wall Street Journal, May 30,
2002. "...Federated Department Stores, which owns Macy's, recently
offered to sell access to its 1.5 million cardholder names. The asking price:
$90 per 1,000 names with a minimum order of 50,000 names. For an additional
$15 per name, the list will include age, household income and the ages of
Will Shape FTC Teleservices Debate, DMNews, May 24, 2002.
Laws Aim to Disconnect Telemarketers, Boston Globe, May 18, 2002.
the Endless Ringing of the Telemarketers, New York Times, May 18, 2002.
Firm Charged with Telemarketing Fraud Settles FTC Complaint; Will Pay More
than $111,000 in Consumer Redress, FTC Press Release, April 29, 2002.
No Campaign to Promote National DNC List, DMNews, April 23, 2002.
man has telemarketer's number: he gets apology and $500, Seattle Post
Intelligencer, April 9, 2002.
Ordered to Pay $39 Million to Consumers, Washington Post, March 19,
Anti-Telemarketer List Would Face Heavy Demand, Washington Post, March
Abandonment Rate Proposed in California, DMNews.com, March 8, 2002.
Curbs Telemarketing Appeals to Bank Customers, Office of the New York
Attorney General Press Release, February 27, 2002.
Send Out A Very Busy Signal, Washington Post, February 20, 2002.
- What You Can Do: QwestDex Is Selling Your Data, St. Paul Pioneer Press,
February 6, 2002.
Mulls Predictive Dialer Ban, Catches Industry by Surprise, DMNews.com,
February 4, 2002.
Why Fight the Inevitable?, DMNews.com, January 28, 2002.
- FTC Chief Grilled
On Privacy At 1st Congressional Hearing, Newsbytes, November 7, 2001.
telemarketing firm banned from doing business in state, Pittsburgh Business
Times, July 23, 2001.
- Kansas City
Telemarketer to Pay $5000 Fine Under New Law, Missouri Attorney General
Press Release, July 16, 2001.
bad rap, telemarketing is a vital business operation, Silicon Valley
Business Review, February 16, 2001.
Records Up for Grabs?, Wired, August 25, 1999.
- The '90s
sweatshop: Telemarketers cope with daily rejection, New Standard (WSJ),
September 29, 1996.
Previous Top News
The Federal Trade Commission has
proposed to create a loophole in telemarketing regulations that will
allow companies to deliver "prerecorded message telemarketing"
to their existing customers. This type of telemarketing also leaves "answering
machine spam," unwanted messages on voicemail. Even those enrolled
in the Do-Not-Call Registry will be affected by the proposed loophole. In
order to stop this proposed loophole, you need to file comments
with the Federal Trade Commission. It will take you less than ten minutes
to protect the Do-Not-Call Registry. The Commission is accepting comments
until January 10, 2005.
Under the proposal, companies could call their current customers and play
a recorded message. The message would have to give the consumer an opportunity
to opt out of the calls, either by pressing a button or
by calling a toll-free number. The key to the proposal is the definition
of businesses' "current customers." Under the Do-Not-Call Regulations,
a business relationship exists whenever an individual makes an inquiry about
or buys any product or service. Inquiries create a relationship for three
months; purchases for eighteen. During that period, the company can make
telemarketing calls even if the individual is enrolled in the Do-Not-Call
Registry, and the individual must opt out of each business relationship
individually. Technically, under the regulations, buying a cup of coffee
creates a business relationship that permits telemarketing for eighteen
The Commission's proposal comes at a time where technology and business
practices could create the "perfect storm" for a barrage unwanted
telemarketing and answering machine spam. Technologically, with Internet
telephony (VoIP), it now is easier and less expensive to use a regular computer
to initiate automated, prerecorded voice calls. Additionally, many retail
businesses are asking for identification information at the point of sale.
Companies collecting this information could exploit this loophole to send
volumes of prerecorded telemarketing and answering machine spam.
EPIC and a coalition of privacy groups will file formal comments on the
loophole, stressing that individuals can opt in to this form of telemarketing
if they choose, but that a mere business relationship should not authorize
companies to deliver prerecorded messages (Jan. 2005)
Coalition Opposes Telemarketing Loophole. EPIC, joined
by a coalition of consumer and privacy groups, filed comments
today with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission
urging the agencies not to create a loophole for prerecorded established
business relationship telemarketing. If the loophole is adopted, businesses
could send prerecorded messages to their customers, even if they are on
the Do-Not-Call Registry. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Diane Feinstein
(D-CA) have also objected
(PDF) to the proposed loophole. For more information, see the EPIC Telemarketing
Page. (Jan. 10, 2005)
Sen. Nelson Joins EPIC in Opposing Telemarketing Loophole. Senator
Bill Nelson (D-FL) has called
upon the Federal Trade Commission to abandon a proposed loophole to
the telemarketing Do-Not-Call Registry. The loophole would allow companies
to send recorded messages to persons with whom they have done business.
In a letter
(pdf) to the FTC, Nelson warned that the loophole threatens to erode consumer
privacy and flood homes with unwanted messages. EPIC and Nelson are urging
the public to comment
on the loophole by January 10, 2005. (Dec. 7, 2004)
EPIC Joins Brief on Junk Faxes Before the Georgia Supreme Court.
EPIC and Private Citizen, Inc. argued in a brief
(PDF) to the Georgia Supreme Court that: "Junk faxing is simply electronic
trespass as a means to committing advertising by theft—the electronic
equivalent of junk mail sent postage due." In the case,
Carnett's Inc. v. Michelle Hammond, the court will determine
whether individuals can bring class action suits under the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act, and whether an "established business relationship"
exemption exists that would permit sending unwanted faxes. (Oct. 18, 2004)
Telemarketers Fail to Block Do-Not-Call Registry. The
Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by telemarketers attempting to
invalidate the Do-Not-Call Registry. More than 62 million numbers are
now enrolled in the registry. For more information, see the EPIC Do-Not-Call
Registry Timeline Page. (Oct. 4, 2004)
Court Upholds Do-Not-Call Registry. The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has upheld
(pdf) the Federal Trade Commission Do-Not-Call Registry against a legal
challenge brought by telemarketers. The decision allows the continued
operation of the list, allows the government to levy fees on telemarketers
for its operation, and recognizes that the FTC has the authority to create
and operate the list. For more information, see the EPIC Do-Not-Call
Timeline Page. (Feb. 17, 2004)
DMA Issues Telemarketing Study. The Direct Marketing Association
has issued a study
on the telemarketing industry in the wake of the Do-Not-Call Registry's
enforcement. The study found that the inidustry has been deeply
affected by the registry, which prohibits contact with 55.5 percent of
the consumer public. The study states this averages out to approximately
118 million consumers, 18 million of which are telemarketing "customers,"
having bought from telemarketers in the past 12 months, while 98 million
are non-customers. (Nov. 18, 2003)
FCC Approves Telemarketing No Call Registry. The Federal Communications
Commission has authorized a national telemarketing do-not-call
registry that will be operated in conjunction with the Federal Trade
Commission. Individuals can enroll in the registry online starting tomorrow,
June 27, 2003. It is estimated that individuals who enroll in the registry
will experience a 70% reduction in telemarketing calls. The new rules
also require written consent from an individual before a business can
send a "junk fax." (Jun. 26, 2003)
Congress Nears Passage of "Do-Not-Call" Bill. By a 418-7
vote, the House of Representatives passed telemarketing
legislation that will allow the FTC to operate a national Do-Not-Call
list. The DNC list is supported by the Bush Administration, and the Senate
is likely to approve telemarketing legislation this week. (Feb.
FTC Announces National Do-Not-Call List. The FTC will establish
a national DNC list
that will accommodate both Internet and toll-free phone number enrollment.
The new regulations also require telemarketers to transmit caller ID information,
establish new rules for the use of preacquired account number information,
and prohibit "abandoned" calls. For the list to operate, Congress
will have to approve the levying of charges to the telemarketing industry
in order to fund the program. EPIC and a coalition of consumer and civil
liberties groups submitted detailed comments
in favor of a DNC list. (Dec. 18, 2002)
EPIC Files Comments on the TCPA. EPIC and ten leading advocacy
groups filed comments
with the Federal Communications Commission on the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act (TCPA). The groups advocated the creation of a telemarketing "do-not-call"
registry and for the requirement that telemarketers send Caller ID information.
(Dec. 8, 2002)
FCC Solicits Comments on Telemarketing. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) has issued a notice
of proposed rulemaking on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA),
a federal law that regulates telemarketing and fax advertising. The notice
requests comments on creating a national do-not-call list, and on regulations
for autodialers and prerecorded voice telemarketing. Any member of the
public can comment until November 22, 2002, and TCPALaw.com has posted
a system to
facilitate submission of comments. (Oct. 8, 2002)
- EPIC Urges Individuals to Send Comments on the Changes to the TSR.
The Federal Trade Commission is soliciting your comments on changes
to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The TSR governs how many telemarketers
may make calls to your home. This is your opportunity to tell the FTC how
to limit telemarketing calls and to increase your privacy! It is important
that members of the public comment. You can do so until April 15, 2002.
EPIC and thirteen leading consumer organizations filed comments
on the TSR on April 10, 2002. Individuals are free to copy and paste from
these comments in their own submission.
The FTC's request for comments is complex and it includes privacy issues,
consumer protection issues, and technical aspects of telemarketing. EPIC
is advising the public to include these issues in their comments:
- The FTC should create a national do-not-call registry for individuals
who wish to avoid sales calls. Individuals should be able to enroll
by postal mail, e-mail, by dialing a toll-free number, or by submitting
a phone number on a web page. Enrollment should be a simple process
with a minimum amount of authentication.
- The FTC should place an affirmative obligation on telemarketers to
transmit caller ID information every time a sales call is initiated.
Telemarketers should transmit an accurate, listed phone number of their
customer service department.
- The FTC should require all telemarketers to improve their autodialer
technology so that there are no "abandoned" calls.
- The FTC should ban the collection of billing information from anyone
other than the consumer, and the disclosure of billing information to
any person to use in telemarketing.
- The FTC should explore ways of making all commercial entities who
engage in telemarketing, including banks and common carriers, subject
to the standards in the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
- EPIC Files Comments on Telemarketing Practices. EPIC and thirteen
leading consumer advocacy groups filed comments
with the Federal Trade Commission on the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).
The groups advocated the creation of a telemarketing "do-not-call" registry,
a requirement that telemarketers send Caller ID information, and for a prohibition
on automatic dialers that produce abandoned calls. Individuals can still
comment on the TSR until April 15, 2002. For more information, see the EPIC
Telemarketing Page. (Apr. 10, 2002)
- FTC Seeks Comment on Telemarketing Sales Rule. EPIC is urging individuals
to comment on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) proposed changes to the
Sales Rule (TSR). The TSR regulates how telemarketers can make sales
calls. More information and suggested comments are available on the EPIC
Telemarketing Page. (Feb. 7, 2002)
- FTC Proposes Telemarketing Do-Not-Call List. The Federal Trade
Commission has issued proposed
changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) that would create a national
Do-Not-Call (DNC) list for individuals who wish to avoid
sales calls. The proposed changes would also prohibit the use of "pre-acquired
account information" in telemarketing. The FTC has encouraged individuals
to comment on the changes online. (Jan. 25, 2002)
- FTC Chairman Announces Privacy Agenda. Timothy Muris, Chairman
of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), today released a new
privacy agenda for the agency. The agenda calls for a 50% increase in
privacy resources, improved privacy complaint handling, more protection
for consumers from spam, telemarketing, pretexting and ID theft, and increased
enforcement of privacy policies and existing laws such as the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The Chairman concluded, however, that it was "too soon" to recommend broad-based
online privacy legislation. (Oct. 4, 2001)
- Federal Court Severely Restricts Consumer Privacy. On August 18,
the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision
that erodes consumer control over telephone usage information. The court
ruled that phone companies can sell or give consumer proprietary network
information (CPNI) -- which includes the location, duration, and frequency
of phone calls -- to telemarketers without the explicit permission of customers.
The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it will appeal
the decision. (Aug. 18, 1999)
Comments on the Telemarketing Sales Rule, April 10, 2002.
- Junkbusters Corp.. Junkbusters
has extensive resources on ending telemarketing calls and other chimerical
solicitations. These include pages on "How to Reduce the Number of
Telemarketing Phone Calls You Get,"The Awesome Telemarketing
Machine, the "Junkbuster's
Anti-Telemarketing Script," and "Junkbusters Declaration."
- Fact Sheet 5: Telemarketing,
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
- Private Citizen. Private Citizen
offers a number of services to reduce telephone and mail marketing.
- Ian Ayres & Matthew Funk, Marketing
Privacy: A Solution for the Blight of Telemarketing (and Spam and Junk Mail),
Working Paper (2002).
to Make a Telemarketer Cry.
- Michael Shannon, Combating Unsolicited Sales Calls: The 'Do-Not-Call'
Approach to Solving the Telemarketing Problem, 27 J. Legis. 381 (2001).
- Joseph Cox, Telemarketing, the First Amendment, and Privacy: Expanding
Telemarketing Regulations Without Violating the Constitution, 17 Hamline
J. Pub. L. & Pol'y 403 (1996).
- Mark S. Nadel, Rings of Privacy: Unsolicited Telephone Calls and the Right
of Privacy, 4 Yale J. on Regulation 99 (1986).
- Antitelemarketer.com. Antitelemarketer
has resources on "Tele-Tormenting," techniques to annoy telemarketers.
- Smallclaim.info, a
site devoted to lawsuits against telemarketers using prerecorded or artificial
voice sales calling.
- Zen and the Art
of Small Claims, an informal guide to litigating claims against telemarketers
in small claims courts.
- Oscar Gandy, The Panoptic Sort: A Political Economy of Personal Information,
- Robert Ellis Smith, Ben Franklin's Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity
From Plymouth Rock To the Internet, 2000.
- Californians Against Telephone Solicitation.
Mey Anti-Telemarketing Page.
- Telemarketing Laws.com, via
- The Privacy.net 'Opt-Out' Information
Mail and Telemarketing , Google Web Directory.
Anti Telemarketing Software.
EPIC Privacy Page | EPIC
May 15, 2006
Page URL: http://www.epic.org/privacy/telemarketing/default.html