Robocall Discussion Continues: FCC Bureau Seeks Comment for Joint Report with FTC

The request provides an additional opportunity for ACA International to share the industry’s experiences as a result of call blocking efforts and how regulators can stop bad actors without harming legitimate businesses.

6/26/2018 1:30 PM

FCCNewsTCPAAdvocacy
Robocall Discussion Continues: FCC Bureau Seeks Comment for Joint Report with FTC

Staff from the Federal Communications Commission Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau are seeking input on efforts to stop illegal robocalls as part of a joint report with the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection.

ACA International is reviewing the request to provide input on behalf of members about the ongoing impact of robocall blocking initiatives on the accounts receivable management industry.

In addition, ACA International continues to engage with regulators about this issue, and met with Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and staff, June 26 to discuss support for stopping bad actors from making illegal robocalls and other concerns surrounding this issue including call blocking of legal calls.

“We are encouraged by these ongoing opportunities to provide a firsthand account about how initiatives to stop illegal robocalls can also impact legitimate businesses trying to reach consumers,” said ACA International’s Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey. “Regulators must make sure that they are not impeding legitimate businesses from contacting consumers that need to hear from them, while continuing with a strong focus on bad actors.”

The joint report outlined in the request for comment is a directive from the FCC to “encompass both the progress made by industry, government and consumers in combatting illegal robocalls, and the remaining challenges to continuing these important efforts.”

The FCC’s request focuses on data, including trends in consumer complaints, to provide insight into the current state of the robocalling problem and additional measures to help consumers.

In particular, the FCC seeks comment on how call blocking technology providers are responding to rules from the FCC’s November 2017 Call Blocking Order, which took effect in February.

Specifically, the 2017 report and order codifies guidance that voice service providers may block spoofed calls when the subscriber of the spoofed number requests it, as well as permit providers to block calls from certain categories of spoofed numbers in which the FCC sees no legitimate, lawful purpose for spoofing, ACA International previously reported.

When fraudulent callers use spoofing to deliberately falsify the information on the recipient’s caller ID and disguise their identity, as described by the FCC, they lose the ability to avoid unwanted, illegal phone calls. This can harm legitimate callers, including in the accounts receivable management industry, making informational calls that consumers want and need, such as information about how to resolve an account.

Some questions from the FCC in the request for comment include:

  • What kinds of blocking are providers doing as a result of this and other actions?
  • How is the effort toward a standardized system for caller ID authentication progressing and when will it result in consumer benefits?
  • The FCC and the FTC make consumer complaint data available to the public. How are the data being used and what are the benefits of its release?
  • Voice service providers and third parties have developed opt-in tools that enable consumers to identify and block illegal calls. What criteria do filtering tool providers use in selecting calls for consumers to block or label as illegal or unwanted?

As ACA International reviews the FCC’s request for comment, it also continues to seek feedback from members on call blocking and labeling issues. In an effort to understand the current impact of mistakenly blocked and labeled calls on ACA members and to effectively use this information in our advocacy efforts, ACA urges you to please share with us your experience related to robocall blocking and/or the mislabeling of your legitimate business calls as scam. 

Comments to the FCC for its staff report on robocalls are due July 20, 2018. View the complete request for comment here. ACA International is reviewing the request and will provide coverage of any response to the FCC in ACA Daily.

Related Content from ACA International:

Make Your Voice Heard on TCPA Reform

ACA to FCC: Focus on Onerous TCPA Interpretations Before Reassigned Numbers Database

FCC Chairman Accepts Working Group’s Recommendations for Call Authentication

FCC Adopts Narrow Call Blocking Rules at November Open Meeting

Pictured above: From left, ACA International CEO Mark Neeb, Federal Affairs Committee Chair and President of Allen Daniel Associates Inc. Daniel Desatnick, IFCCE and Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey at the FTC June 26. Philip Rosenthal, IFCCE, MCE, president of Nationwide Credit Corporation, also participated in the meeting.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Robocall Discussion Continues: FCC Bureau Seeks Comment for Joint Report with FTC

Staff from the Federal Communications Commission Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau are seeking input on efforts to stop illegal robocalls as part of a joint report with the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection.

ACA International is reviewing the request to provide input on behalf of members about the ongoing impact of robocall blocking initiatives on the accounts receivable management industry.

In addition, ACA International continues to engage with regulators about this issue, and met with Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and staff, June 26 to discuss support for stopping bad actors from making illegal robocalls and other concerns surrounding this issue including call blocking of legal calls.

“We are encouraged by these ongoing opportunities to provide a firsthand account about how initiatives to stop illegal robocalls can also impact legitimate businesses trying to reach consumers,” said ACA International’s Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey. “Regulators must make sure that they are not impeding legitimate businesses from contacting consumers that need to hear from them, while continuing with a strong focus on bad actors.”

The joint report outlined in the request for comment is a directive from the FCC to “encompass both the progress made by industry, government and consumers in combatting illegal robocalls, and the remaining challenges to continuing these important efforts.”

The FCC’s request focuses on data, including trends in consumer complaints, to provide insight into the current state of the robocalling problem and additional measures to help consumers.

In particular, the FCC seeks comment on how call blocking technology providers are responding to rules from the FCC’s November 2017 Call Blocking Order, which took effect in February.

Specifically, the 2017 report and order codifies guidance that voice service providers may block spoofed calls when the subscriber of the spoofed number requests it, as well as permit providers to block calls from certain categories of spoofed numbers in which the FCC sees no legitimate, lawful purpose for spoofing, ACA International previously reported.

When fraudulent callers use spoofing to deliberately falsify the information on the recipient’s caller ID and disguise their identity, as described by the FCC, they lose the ability to avoid unwanted, illegal phone calls. This can harm legitimate callers, including in the accounts receivable management industry, making informational calls that consumers want and need, such as information about how to resolve an account.

Some questions from the FCC in the request for comment include:

  • What kinds of blocking are providers doing as a result of this and other actions?
  • How is the effort toward a standardized system for caller ID authentication progressing and when will it result in consumer benefits?
  • The FCC and the FTC make consumer complaint data available to the public. How are the data being used and what are the benefits of its release?
  • Voice service providers and third parties have developed opt-in tools that enable consumers to identify and block illegal calls. What criteria do filtering tool providers use in selecting calls for consumers to block or label as illegal or unwanted?

As ACA International reviews the FCC’s request for comment, it also continues to seek feedback from members on call blocking and labeling issues. In an effort to understand the current impact of mistakenly blocked and labeled calls on ACA members and to effectively use this information in our advocacy efforts, ACA urges you to please share with us your experience related to robocall blocking and/or the mislabeling of your legitimate business calls as scam. 

Comments to the FCC for its staff report on robocalls are due July 20, 2018. View the complete request for comment here. ACA International is reviewing the request and will provide coverage of any response to the FCC in ACA Daily.

Related Content from ACA International:

Make Your Voice Heard on TCPA Reform

ACA to FCC: Focus on Onerous TCPA Interpretations Before Reassigned Numbers Database

FCC Chairman Accepts Working Group’s Recommendations for Call Authentication

FCC Adopts Narrow Call Blocking Rules at November Open Meeting

Pictured above: From left, ACA International CEO Mark Neeb, Federal Affairs Committee Chair and President of Allen Daniel Associates Inc. Daniel Desatnick, IFCCE and Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey at the FTC June 26. Philip Rosenthal, IFCCE, MCE, president of Nationwide Credit Corporation, also participated in the meeting.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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