• Privacy
    • Financial Privacy
    • Telephone Recording
  • Telephone
    • Automated Dialers
    • Call Center Disclosure
    • Caller ID
    • Push Polls
  • Sales
    • Automated Dialers
    • Do Not Call-Telephone Solicitation
    • Time of Day Restrictions

Current Legislation

Financial Privacy
IL- The Illinois Financial Information Privacy Act (HB 3725) would require a financial institution to obtain consumer consent prior to disclosing nonpublic personal information to affiliated companies or nonaffiliated contractual financial companies. This opt-in requirement would be more restrictive than the current opt-out requirement under the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which likewise impact survey research activities.

MD- The governor signed the Personal Information Protection Act (HB 208) into law. This Act requires financial institutions to maintain security procedures and security breach notification requirements for personal information. This new law applies to all financial institutions, including those institutions involved in or contracting for survey research.

Telephone Recording
IL-SB 665 would explicitly authorize recording and telephone monitoring for marketing or opinion research. Marketing or opinion research means “a marketing or opinion research interview conducted by a live telephone interviewer engaged by a corporation or other business entity who[se] principal business is the design, conduct, and analysis of polls and surveys measuring the opinions, attitudes, and responses of respondents towards products and services, or social or political issues, or both.”

Automated Dialers
OR - SB 863 would prohibit callers from using automatic dialing and announcing devices in order to contact a subscriber of wireless telephone service, unless the subscriber has consented to the call. The legislation applies to all uses of automated dialer devices for contacting wireless phones and therefore is applicable to the survey research profession.

Call Center Disclosure
OR - HB 2836 would require call center employees making or receiving a telephone call to disclose the location of the call center and, upon request from the consumer, the name of the person who contracted the services of the call center. This legislation is an important priority for CMOR. CMOR recognizes that revealing a sponsor’s information may insert bias in a survey. As a result, CMOR is reviewing the legislation’s viability and will be in contact with the sponsor to educate them about the profession. CMOR will also propose alternative legislative language to protect the survey research profession.

Congress – H.R. 1776 would require call centers to disclose their physical location before any call. “Call center” is defined as “a location that provides customer-based service and sales assistance or technical assistance and expertise to individuals.” Depending on how these definitions would be interpreted and implemented, this legislation could impact the research profession, but the likelihood of action on H.R. 1776 is minimal.

Caller ID
IN - HB 1046 would prohibit any person from knowingly transmitting false or misleading Caller ID information with the intent to defraud the consumer. Since the execution of legitimate survey research involves no intentions of fraud, the impact of this legislation on the profession will be minimal.

Push Polls
AL-SB 273 and IA-HB 863 would classify telephone calls made for the purpose of influencing the vote of the recipient of the call as a paid political advertisement. The legislation applies to political calls of a general nature and does not apply to the survey research profession.

Congress – The Voters’ Right to Know Act (H.R. 1452) would require the operator of any “federal election phone bank” to disclose certain information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). “Federal election phone bank” is defined as “a project under which an aggregate number of not fewer than 1,500 households are contacted by telephone during the 25-day period which ends on the date of an election for Federal office.” The bill further clarifies the definition, requiring that respondents be “are asked to state a preference in the election or to state the likelihood of their support of any candidate,” or “ provided with any information regarding a clearly identified candidate for such office.” H.R. 1452 explicitly exempts phone banks conducted by the mainstream news media. The threshold of polling of more than 1,500 households in the “federal election phone bank” definition is above CMOR’s accepted numerical threshold for determining a push poll. CMOR will be contacting the sponsor to educate her and to help her modify the language to better target political telemarketing and not legitimate survey research.

NY-HB 6710 would prohibit a candidate, political party or committee from disclosing the results of any canvas or poll promoting the success or defeat of a candidate, unless within 48 hours prior to the posting, a disclosure is made providing: the person, party or organization that sponsored the poll; the name and address of the organization (if applicable); the numerical size and geographic area covered by the poll; the wording of the poll; the method of polling; the time period of the poll; and the number of people polled. The intent of this legislation appears to be aimed at creating disclosure requirements for push polls. However, some language in the bill is not as clear as it should be and as a result, legislative research activities may be at risk. CMOR will be contacting the sponsor and further determining strategy and the bill’s viability. It is CMOR’s goal to help the sponsor clarify the intent to require disclosure only for push polls.

PA- SB 379 would amend the Telemarketer Registration Act to define an advocacy push poll as a “paid telephone survey or telemarketing calling campaign conducted by a telemarketer that attempts to sway public policy interest by referencing a candidate.” The conditions defining a push poll would include: failing to make relevant demographic inquiries; non-tabulation of the survey results by a telemarketer; the telemarketer prefacing a question with an untrue statement; and the telemarketer inciting the consumer to suppress or change their voting position on a particular candidate. This legislation applies to push polls or political telemarketing only. CMOR will follow up with the sponsor to offer our support regarding this legislation and assist in drafting uniform language with other push poll laws.

Automated Dialers
MO - HB 112 would prohibit the use of an automatic dialing announcing device to a consumer who was registered on the state’s telephone solicitation list. The use of an automated dialer applies to telephone solicitations, and does not include survey research.

Telephone Solicitation
KY - HB 430, which has been signed into law, amends the state do not call law to include the state list in the Federal National Do Not Call registry. Because the federal registry does not apply to legitimate survey research, there are no restrictions for the profession.

WI - AB 217 would expand the state do not call registry to include cellular telephone numbers and would prohibit fax solicitations without the recipient’s consent. A telephone solicitation is defined as the “unsolicited initiation of a telephone conversation for the purpose of encouraging the recipient of the telephone call to purchase property, goods or services.” The legislation applies to commercial telephone calls, and since survey research is not commercial in nature the legislation does not restrict the profession.

Congress – H.R. 605 would add five years to the maximum penalty for telemarketing fraud targeting seniors, direct the FTC and the U.S. Postal Service to expand anti-fraud public awareness campaigns and seminars for seniors, and authorize additional personnel hiring to do so. Since these measures only apply to telemarketing fraud, there would be no negative restrictions on the profession.

Do Not Call Registry
Congress – S. 781 would extend the authority of the FTC to collect fees for the Do Not Call Registry indefinitely. The fee schedule is currently scheduled to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2007. This bill would have no impact on the research profession, because legitimate survey research is not required to use the Registry.

Time-of-day Restrictions for Telemarketing
Congress – H.R. 1652 would tighten the restriction on telemarketers’ calling hours to prohibit any telephone solicitation calls between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The legislation seeks to regulate sales context calls only and, as a result, there are no restrictions on the survey research profession.