FCC closes “Lead Generator Loophole”

Young man holding phone hoping to not get a spam text today thanks to the Lead Generator Loophole

On December 13, the FCC closed the lead generator loophole with a set of regulations that make it more difficult for unscrupulous companies to harass consumers with unwanted phone calls and texts. The regulations will accomplish this by:

  • Ensuring that your consent of contact is limited to only the marketer you have interacted with. Previously, comparison shopping website and lead generator clearinghouses would use a “batch consent” model, meaning a single consent could apply to many telemarketers at once.
  • Formally codifying that do-not call protections also apply to text messaging. In other words, if you receive an unwanted call and ask to be on their do not call list, companies may not text you.
  • Creating a red flag system for certain numbers that enables the FCC to block all calls and texts from those numbers to all consumers.
  • Continuing to enhance the regulations by encouraging public comment on the regulation and enhancing their authentication model that adds a digital signature to phone calls- known as “STIR/SHAKEN” – including the status and possibly inclusion of new industry standards  in development. 

Providers will have 6 months to become compliant, but many are ending the practice now, which should be a welcome change.

The FCC’s Robocall Response Team continues to encourage public feedback on steps it might take against robotexts. The Robocall Response team serves as an FCC staff working group to combat the problem of illegal spoofed, or scam robocalls.