Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Shot heard round the state

The news that the Consumer Bankers Association has launched an assault to gut Indiana's Telephone Privacy Statute is reaching around the state. The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel has one such story:

Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter claims that Indiana residents could get flooded with unwanted telemarketing calls if banks succeed in overturning a portion of Indiana’s do-not-call law.
At issue are provisions of state law that forbid businesses to make calls to people on Indiana’s do-not-call list unless they have given their specific permission or owe the business money.
“The scenario the member banks here in Indiana and across the nation want is unlimited access to you and your home to make repeated sales calls,” Carter said in a prepared release on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis TV station WTHR has another:

Before Indiana's No Call law there was a maddening daily assault on your home phone.

In three and one-half years, the nation's toughest telephone privacy law faces it's fourth challenge, this time from the Consumer Bankers Association, a Virginia-based trade association who members include some of Indiana's biggest banks.

Staci Schneider with the attorney general's office says, "We have one more challenge by a group trying to circumvent the state laws by going to the federal government and trying to get someone to intervene and allow more telemarketing calls into the state."

The CBA is petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to allow its Indiana member banks to make sales calls to previous customers on the Do Not Call list by using something called the established business relationship exemption.

If approved, that would allow anyone you've done business with in the last 18 months, from banks to your dry cleaner, to make the nightly sales pitch.

Cheryl Decker is on the Do Not Call list. "I don't want banks calling me or insurance companies. I don't want anybody calling me. He phone is private at my house."

The Consumer Banking Association's plan is backed by the Indiana Banking Association, which turned down a request for an interview.
Other outlets reporting on this story include WANE TV in Fort Wayne, WCPO TV in Cincinnati, which serves southeastern Indiana, and IndyStar.com.