Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA and Joint Trades Reply Comments to the FCC on TRACED Act Safe Harbor
Posted September 30, 2020 by dyi

Yesterday evening, CUNA joined with other trade associations to send reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its proposed regulations to eliminate unlawful robocalls pursuant to the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act). The TRACED Act, among other things, requires the FCC to ensure that robocall blocking services are provided to consumers with transparent and effective redress options for callers whose calls are erroneously blocked. The joint trades previously commented on the FCC’s proposals and drafted this reply after reviewing of all the comments submitted by interested parties.

This reply highlights the widespread support among commenters for a notification requirement whenever a caller is blocked by a telephone service provider. The letter also rebuts arguments against such requirements by pointing out that notification is legally necessary, need not be overly prescriptive and that concerns about tipping off bad actors are speculative and meritless when weighed against the actual and known harms that erroneous call blocking has on legitimate businesses such as credit unions. We also point out that the FCC’s record demonstrates the need for prompt and effective response and redress deadlines to quickly alleviate caller and customer harms that arise from erroneous blocking. Finally, the letter argues that the same notification and redress must be available for erroneous adverse labeling as well, since customers of legitimate businesses will not pick up calls that are mistakenly labeled as “Spam” or “Fraud Likely.”

In addition to CUNA, the joint trades group sending this letter includes the American Bankers Association, ACA International, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, National Retail Federation, and the Student Loan Servicing Alliance.