January 3, 2020
On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act into law. This legislation addresses the concerns raised by American consumers and will stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to provide protection against and end the proliferation of illegal, unsolicited robocalls.
In March 2019, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined with 54 attorneys general in sending a letter to Congress to express support for the TRACED Act. The attorneys general applauded the requirement that voice service providers must participate in the call authentication framework, and the prioritization of timely, industry-wide implementation of these protocols.
From the letter to Congress:
“We believe that this legislation effectively addresses many of the concerns raised by federal regulators, voice service providers, private businesses, consumer advocacy groups, and other interested parties to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing, and we are heartened that it enables the telecom industry, federal regulators, and our offices to take meaningful steps to abate the rapid proliferation of these illegal and unwanted robocalls.”
Robocalls increased in the U.S. by 57% from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, it was estimated that the number of illegal robocalls reached almost 48 billion.
“Robocalls have become more than just a persistent disruption in the lives of Utahns. So many of these calls are, at best, a vexatious nuisance or, at worst, a scam. I commend President Trump and Congress working together to provide protection and relief for all of us against illegal robocalls,” said Attorney General Reyes. “My office and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection receive numerous complaints each month and far too many Utahans are victimized by these illegal robocalls. The TRACED Act finally gives criminal enforcement authority to regulators to deter robodial abuses and return control of phone lines to everyday Americans.”
Read the TRACED Act here.