Friday, March 11, 2005

Purdue newspaper discusses Do Not Call

The Exponent, a student newspaper at Purdue University, discusses Do Not Call in today's editions:

The most powerful telephone privacy law in the nation is under attack.

The Consumer Bankers Association has submitted a petition to the FCC asking that exemptions be placed in the Indiana Telephone Privacy Law to allow companies to contact individuals they have previously done business with. Provisions to protect consumers from such calls are what set Indiana’s law apart from the National Do Not Call Registry, said Staci Schneider, press secretary for Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter.

The Telephone Privacy Law, developed and enforced by Carter, is designed to reduce harassment from telemarketers by making it illegal for organizations, with some exceptions, to call Indiana residents registered on the list.

"If we’re going to pass a law, we want it to have an impact," said Schneider, adding that the Indiana list, established in 2001 and containing more than 1.6 million registered phone numbers, allows fewer exemptions to the types of organizations legally able to call registered citizens than any other list in the country; that includes the federal list established in 2003 by the FCC and FTC. The largest difference between the state and federal lists, said Schneider, is the varying stance on established business relationships.

The CBA petition claims that the restrictions placed on its members by the Indiana law make it difficult for banks to maintain contact with customers they have previously done business with. The Association is asking that these restrictions be removed, allowing banks and other businesses to call any consumers they have had business with over the last 18 months, an exemption already present in the National Do Not Call Registry.