Hospitals and other private entities that contact consumers will soon have access to an online portal to report suspected robocall and caller ID violations to the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved a report and order under Section 10a of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act to implement a streamlined process for private entities to report calls that may be unlawful and callers who are using legitimate businesses’ caller IDs.
“The new online portal will allow such entities to alert agency investigators of concerning incidents, including floods of robocalls like those that have been known to clog up hospital phone lines,” according to a news release from the FCC.
When a private entity submits a report through the online portal, it will collect their contact information and details about the robocall campaign they are concerned about, according to the FCC. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau may then initiate an investigation to stop the robocalls and may work with federal and/or state partners to address the issue.
The report and order also requires private entities using the portal to submit certain minimum information including, but not necessarily limited to, the name of the reporting private entity; contact information, including at least one individual name and means of contacting the entity (e.g., a phone number); the caller ID information displayed; the phone number(s) called; the date(s) and time(s) of the relevant calls or texts; the name of the reporting private entity’s service provider and a description of the problematic calls or texts.
The new process will not affect the current informal complaint process that the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau manages, according to the FCC.
The bureau will implement the portal once it receives the requisite approvals from the Office of Management and Budget. The report and order will take effect 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.