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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2016 04:03 PM
From: Representative Justin J. Simmons
To: All House members
Subject: Accuracy in Caller Identification

In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to address problems that I, and others, have faced with caller ID.

As it is explained on the Federal Communications Commission website:

Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. If no harm is intended or caused, spoofing is not illegal. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation.

There are, however, other issues that arise with caller ID. Recently, calls from my District Office were showing a different caller ID to some recipients. This error was not the result of any action by my office, rather, there was an error in the information being transmitted through the databases of caller ID information. In addition to working with the telephone companies to correct the mistake, we actually went so far as to obtain a new outgoing phone number for the District Office.

This is not, however, just about my District Office. Consumers utilize caller ID to obtain correct information about incoming calls. Businesses and nonprofits count on their phone calls being correctly identified in order to reach clients and potential donors. My legislation would require telephone providers to:
  • Provide caller identification services, including databases of caller ID information, with timely updates regarding a change of name associated with a telephone number.
  • Only utilize a caller identification service if that service verifies, in writing, timely updates to the caller identification information in any database it subscribes to or uses.
The Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection would be empowered to enforce these requirements.

Please join me in supporting this legislation. If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Lori Nissly at (717) 783-1673 or lnissly@pahousegop.com.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB637