CLIENT ALERT: New York Governor Signs Nuisance Call Act into Law
New York has just passed legislation that has the capacity to be one of the most onerous telemarketing compliance laws. The legislation may potentially impact telemarketers’ outbound calling and data sharing practices.
The Nuisance Call Act requires live voice outbound telemarketers to inform consumers that they have the option to be added to the seller’s internal do-not-call list. If a consumer opts to do so, the telemarketer must immediately end the call and add the number to the company’s internal do-not-call list. Previously, the requirement applied only to pre-recorded voice calls.
In addition, the law greatly restricts the potential sharing of customer data. The Nuisance Call Act requires telemarketers and sellers to obtain a telemarketing customer’s “express agreement,” in writing or electronic format, before sharing or selling their contact information, including name, telephone number and email address.
However, the legislation retains the existing safe harbor exemption for companies that obtain the national do-not-call list at least every 31 days and implement a comprehensive and documented do-not-call compliance program.
The Nuisance Call Act will take effect on March 1, 2020.
A company found to be in violation of the law may be fined up to $11,000 for each violation.
Takeaway: To avoid potential violations and steep penalties, businesses that engage in live outbound calling to New York residents need to be cognizant of increasing do-not-call compliance obligations. Moreover, the law requires that telemarketers obtain a customer’s express agreement before sharing/renting any customer contact information. Given the legacy safe harbor language in the statute for do-not-call compliance programs, it will be important to follow how the law will be enforced.