FCC seeks comment on proposed robocall complaint portal
The FCC proposed rules and requested comment on these rules to establish an online web portal for private entities to report robocall violations. Here’s an overview.
TRACED Act mandate
Section 10 of the TRACED Act directs the FCC to establish a process that private entities may use to report robocall violations. The deadline for this is June 30, 2021.
Different from the current consumer complaint process
The FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau currently manages an informal complaint process for consumers to report unwanted calls. This process will continue.
The FCC proposes that the new online portal would be in addition to, and distinct from, the informal consumer complaint process.
The new web portal would be for private entities to report illegal robocalls to the FCC Enforcement Bureau. For example, the Commission expects that this could be used by employees who suspect that their company is violating laws against illegal robocalls and by third parties that have been disrupted by illegal robocalls.
The Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau has been reporting some robocall violations complaints to the Enforcement Bureau. This would continue.
Under the new process, the Enforcement Bureau would also refer complaints it receives in the new web portal to the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau when appropriate.
Other aspects to consider
The FCC also asked for comments on a few other aspects of the proposed rules:
- What’s a private entity? The FCC proposes that this should be any person or organization that is not a government entity.
- Commentary on the online web portal,
- Alternative or additional methods to streamline collection of complaints,
- Information to be collected in complaints,
- Any laws or regulations that could deter a private entity from filing a complaint,
- Safe harbor protection,
- Coexistence of an informal consumer complaint process and a private entity complaint process.
This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was released on December 8, 2020. Comments will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments will be due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
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