• Privacy
    • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
    • Financial Privacy
    • Selling of Telephone Records
    • Security Breach
  • Telephone
    • Automated Dialers
    • Caller ID
    • Political Telephone Calls
    • Faxes
  • Sales
    • Selling of Telephone Records
    • Do Not Call-Telephone Solicitation
    • Spam

Current Legislation

Pharmaceutical Gifts
Reporting Requirements
IL introduced legislation to establish the Prescription Drug Ethical Marketing Act. The measure requires every manufacturer and labeler that sells prescription drugs to annually disclose to the Director of Public Health the value, nature, and purpose of any gift, fee, payment, subsidy, or other economic benefit provided in promotion to physicians above $25. Survey researchers performing research under contractual obligations may be interpreted as a pharmaceutical marketer for the purposes of this legislation. Therefore, survey researchers would be expected to fulfill reporting obligations as required. No personal identifiable information of physicians’ is subject to disclosure.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
ND has introduced legislation to amend existing law to exempt electronic mail addresses and telephone numbers that are provided or communicated to a public entity from access to the public as open record information. The implications for conducting survey research are not clear in this legislation. As it currently stands, this measure may impact the ability of researchers to access telephone numbers for research purposes. CMOR will conduct follow-up with the sponsor of this bill to clarify the intent and the implications of accessing telephone numbers for survey research purposes.

Congress has already introduced 18 bills regulating PII, including: four to limit the sale or use of social security numbers; five regarding notification of data security breaches; two regulating children’s information online; and four further restricting pretexting and the trading/selling of phone records. Few are likely to move forward, but CMOR is monitoring them closely.

Financial Privacy
TX introduced legislation to require financial institutions to obtain written customer consent prior to the release or sale of any financial or personal information.

Selling of Telephone Records
OR, TX and WA introduced legislation to prohibit the trading and selling of telephone and wireless communication records, without the customer’s consent.

Security Breach
CA has introduced legislation to include telephone calling pattern and records in the definition of personal identifiable information under security breach laws.

Caller ID
AK introduced legislation to prohibit a telephone solicitor or any person from inserting false information into a caller ID system by voice or written communication.

IL introduced a bill that prohibits using Internet caller identification equipment to insert false information into a caller ID system, by voice or written communication.

Congress - On March 21, the House passed The Preventing Harassment through Outbound Number Enforcement (PHONE) Act (H.R. 740). The bill would prohibit using false caller ID information or caller ID information of an actual person without their consent, with the intent to defraud or deceive – also known as caller ID “spoofing.” The legislation exempts “legitimate” spoofing activities, such as a police officer placing a call as part of an undercover investigation or a mother calling from a battered women's shelter. A similar bill, the Truth in Caller ID Act (H.R. 251), was pulled from consideration at the last minute over concerns that it did not provide sufficient exemption for law enforcement activities. Direct impact on the research profession will be minimal, but CMOR will be examining this legislation in refining best practices and codes and standards regarding the use of such identification in all media used for research.

Political Calls
TX has introduced legislation to regulate “political telephone solicitation calls”. The person conducting the political call must obtain written approval and file with the proper authority of the candidate, officeholder or sponsor. A political telephone solicitation is defined to include calls supporting or opposing a candidate, officeholder, or measure. The legislation also provides an explicit exemption for the purposes of polling respondents concerning a candidate, officeholder, or measure, and as a result, there are no negative implications for the survey research profession.

KY has introduced legislation to prohibit sending unsolicited commercial fax advertisements, without consent. The legislation applies only to sales, not survey research.

Do Not Call-Telephone Solicitation
CT has introduced legislation to include sales solicitations sent by cellular telephone text message in the do not call registry law. The bill applies only to sales, not survey research.

KY has introduced legislation regulating telephone solicitations by telemarketers. The bill defines a telemarketer as any person in connection with a telephone solicitation that initiates or receives calls to a consumer of goods and services. The legislation requires telemarketers to comply with the federal do not call registry with respect to contacting Kentucky residents. Under federal law, the survey research profession is not subject to any negative implications. As a result, this legislation should not restrict the profession.

KY has also introduced legislation expanding the definition of a telephone solicitation to include contacting a wireless cellular phone or a wireless personal service communications customer.

NY has introduced legislation forbidding phone solicitations between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and also between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Phone solicitation is defined as a “course of conduct by which a business solicits its sales, services, or contracts by means of unsolicited random or sequential phone calls to individual subscribers of phone services, including the use of any automatic, mechanical, electronic or electro-mechanical equipment in placing telephone calls to private dwellings.” The legislation seeks to regulate sales context calls only, and as a result, there are no negative restrictions for the survey research profession.

NM has introduced legislation creating the Anti-Spam Act. The Act prohibits sending “unsolicited commercial email advertisements”. An unsolicited commercial email advertisement is defined to include commercial email where the recipient has not provided direct consent to receive advertisements and the recipient does not have a preexisting or current business relationship with the advertiser. The measure relates to advertisements of a commercial nature. As a result, there are no restrictions for the survey research profession.