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The Federal Trade Commission has filed comments supporting the Federal Communications Commission’s initiatives to block unwanted telemarketing robocalls.
But it also urged the FCC to develop solutions for the unlawful robocalls that don’t block businesses that comply with the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The FTC’s comment is in sync with the overall goal of both agencies to block unsolicited callers without hurting legitimate businesses, Daniel Deane, co-leader of Nixon Peabody LLP’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act team, told Bloomberg BNA. The agencies working together to block robocalls is a positive development, he said.
The commissions split jurisdiction as watchdogs of the technology and communications industries. The FTC filed its comments in response to an FCC notice of proposed rulemaking seeking input on authorizing provider-based call blocking.
Specifically, the FTC said, the FCC should:
The FTC supported requiring providers to develop clear and specific procedures to address complaints from individuals and businesses whose calls are inadvertently blocked. But it urged the FCC to be cautious in establishing a mechanism, such as a white list of approved numbers.
Such a mechanism must consider the subject of the call, so that legitimate calls for political, charitable or survey purposes could still be connected, the FTC said.
“It is also promising to see the FCC and FTC focus on the true bad actors rather than continuing to punish legitimate businesses who sometimes run afoul of the TCPA despite good faith efforts to comply,” Deane said.
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