I attended the Neustar (formerly TargusInfo) Interactive Insights Summit in New Orleans last week and wanted to report on a few highlights. There were two separate sessions just focused on the upcoming changes to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). In addition, it seemed to be a hot topic of conversation around the show for both advertisers and publishers.

Becky Burr, Deputy Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Neustar gave the first session on Wednesday morning titled “Privacy, Compliance, and Outbound Dialing – Staying One Step Ahead”. These are a few highlighted points from the presentation:

  • Any individual can bring a claim against a company. It’s now the fastest growing class action lawsuit category.
  • The TCPA penalty is a minimum of $500 per violating call and as much as $1,500.
  • For compliance purposes, companies should behave as if all numbers are mobile, and store consent accordingly.
  • A companies existing client/call list is included in these requirements: An established business relationship doesn’t matter for TCPA.
  • Companies need permission from phone owner/subscriber at the time of the call. If a consumer changes their number, the company loses the permission to call that number. If calling a recently changed number, the dialing company will be in violation of the TCPA. This underscores the importance of updating phone records to ensure accuracy.
  • The “Subscriber” is usually individual, and doesn’t usually include the family or spouse. So potentially would need two sets of consent to call spouses on their own independent numbers.
  • In a nutshell – anyone calling anyone is subject to TCPA.

Rebekah Johnson, Sr. Compliance Manager of West Corporation spoke later in the day on a presentation titled “Increasing Customer Engagements without Increasing Compliance Risk.” Here are a few bullet points I heard during Rebekah’s session:

  • Any company that’s calling needs to prove that it has consent from the consumer and store it.
  • Callers must keep service and marketing messages separate. Service messaging is okay and not covered by TCPA.
  • Manual dialing doesn’t fix the problem if the technology is capable of auto dialing.
  • She highlighted the Jiffy Lube class action lawsuit that became a $47MM settlement. This was a one day mistake where they sent 2.3MM SMS messages containing coupons.

With the existing requirements and additional upcoming restrictions, the TCPA is something any company calling consumers needs to be aware of. It’s exciting to be part of ActiveProspect because we recognize the importance of this legislation and offer the only solution that provides independent proof of TCPA compliance for Internet leads. As the industry shifts to adjust to the changing rules, we are glad to help provide independent proof of consent for buyers and sellers.