California Do-Not-Call Registry Is Merging with the Federal List


In 2002, the California Legislature mandated that the state's Attorney General (AG) establish a statewide do-not-call list. It was to be operational by April 1, 2003. But in December 2002, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would establish a national do-not-call list that would encompass all of the states. Rather than duplicate efforts and confuse consumers, the California AG's office instead joined with the FTC in order to merge the state's efforts with the federal list. The federal list will not be activated until October 2003. Here's how this has all transpired and what it means for you:

Suing a Telemarketer: How I Spent My Summer Vacation


I am a federal government retiree who does occasional substitute teaching just for fun.  Basically, I don’t work during the summer.  Also, I hate telemarketers and feel that companies who buy and sell individuals’ personal information in order to solicit are despicable. So, what did I do on my summer vacation?  I sued a telemarketer!

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and UCAN Launch the Pre-Recorded Telemarketing Calls Project


  • The phone rings. You rush to the phone, expecting a call from a friend. But instead, you're greeted with a canned message offering you a timeshare or a special deal on cell phone service.
  • You arrive home after a long day at work and retrieve your voice mail messages, only to hear a long-winded prerecorded spiel pitching you a deal on home siding.

What's wrong with this picture? Did you know that pre-recorded messages are a violation of federal law? And if the telemarketer is a company in California, did you know that all such calls must be introduced with a "live" person asking you if you want to listen to a recorded message?

Caller ID: The Case for Consumer Education


The introduction of Caller ID to California has been an enlightening study in what happens when consumers are given adequate information to make meaningful decisions about safeguarding their privacy. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has mandated that the local phone companies educate consumers about the privacy implications of Caller ID. The CPUC has also required that the phone companies make both Complete and Selective Blocking available to consumers at no charge (called Per Line and Per Call Blocking in other states).

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