The California legislature is considering a bill that would restrict the definition of an automated telephone dialing system and give individuals more power to revoke consent to be contacted beyond what currently exists in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
AB 3007, introduced by Assemblyman Ed Chau, a Democrat, is expected to be included in an appropriations hearing later this month, and there is “little opposition” to the bill within the state legislature, according to a published report.
The bill would define “automatic dialing-announcing devices” as equipment that stores and automatically calls, or automatically sends text messages to, telephone numbers without significant human involvement in the act of calling or sending, that generates in a random or sequential order and calls, or sends text messages to, telephone numbers without significant human involvement in the act of calling or sending, that makes telephone calls that include artificial or prerecorded voice messages, or that sends text messages that include prewritten text messages. The bill would also repeal the authorization for using these devices to make calls to individuals for which an established business relationship exists.
Consent to receive calls using the technology could be revoked at “any time and in any reasonable manner, regardless of how the consent was provided,” according to the bill.
The bill would include a number of exemptions, including for cable companies and utilities using the technology to notify individuals about upcoming appointments. There do not appear to be any exemptions for companies making collection calls.
Momentum for the bill is also being provided by the number of scams being perpetrated related to the coronavirus pandemic. Individuals who are receiving calls about scam coronavirus testing kits and fraudulent relief funds are helping provide more fodder for members of the legislature to pass the bill into law.