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June 5, 2019

FCC Makes Economic Case For Shutting Down Illegal Robocalls

CNET

In an article published on June 5 in CNET, Miami attorneys Melissa Gomberg, Kimberly Freedman, and Erin Kolmansberger discuss the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to allow wireless carriers to block those robocalls for customers by default.

The attorneys explain pitfalls for businesses and the potential for legitimate automated calls to be inadvertently caught in the automatic call-blocking net. "There are legitimate reasons to use an auto dialer or to use spoofing," Gomberg shares. "Doctors' offices routinely spoof numbers so that the number that shows up when a physician calls a patient isn't a personal number."

Callbacks from support centers could also be blocked. The attorneys state that the FCC policy as written would allow carriers to block these calls by default without ever letting the consumer know that such a call had been attempted, causing patients to miss important health information or consumers waiting for technical support that never comes.

"There's already a lot of confusion around what's legal or illegal when it comes to auto dialers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and this just adds another layer of complexity," the attorneys add. "Classifying a call as 'unwanted' is so subjective."

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