New York State Assembly Unanimously Passes Caller ID Bill

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Friday, June 17th, 2016

New Yorkers who are tired of getting telemarketing calls with confusing or misleading Caller ID may soon be getting some additional protections. This week, the New York State legislature passed a bill that requires telemarketers to transmit accurate Caller ID information.

Sponsored by State Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) and Assemblymember Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers), the bill was ratified by the state Senate and passed the Assembly with a 143-0 vote. Now, the bill heads to the governor’s desk. Assemblymember Mayer enjoined Governor Cuomo to sign it into law.

This bill gives New York State additional power to go after lawbreakers that try to trick consumers into picking up their phones. Federal law prohibits telemarketers from transmitting inaccurate caller ID. However, current New York State law, according to Assemblymember Mayer, is “vague.” It does not require telemarketers to use accurate Caller ID, though they are subject to a fine for failing to do so.

We commend the New York State legislature for passing this bill. Chuck Bell, programs director of Consumers Union, said: “Nothing frustrates consumers more than unwanted telemarketing calls that ring both day and night. This excellent bill will help protect consumers by requiring callers to transmit accurate, complete Caller ID information so it’s clear who is calling. They can then decline to answer the call, or potentially block it with new call-blocking technologies, if they don’t want to receive it. The bill will also help consumers to more easily identify and report violators of the Do-Not-Call list to state and federal authorities.”   

This is just the latest in a flurry of activity coming out of New York to stop robocalls. On the federal level, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently introduced the ROBOCOP Act into the Senate, which would require phone companies to offer free tools to their consumers to block robocalls – and to implement technology that would block calls with unconfirmed Caller ID. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced the bill to the House in April. Let’s work together to stop robocalls! Learn how to contact your Senators and Representative in Congress, and ask them to endorse ROBOCOP!

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