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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: nys100.txt

New York State Caller-ID service law




                           STATE OF NEW YORK

                                10000

                             IN ASSEMBLY

                            March 6, 1990


Introduced by M. of A.  NADLER, FELDMAN, PHEFFER, CLARK, GRIFFITH,
BOYLAND - Multi-Spronsored by M. of A. ABBATE, BRENNAN, COLMAN, CROWLEY,
Del TORO, DUGAN, GRANNIS, HARENBERG, HEVESI, JENKINS, KOPPELL, LUSTER,
MARTINEZ, NORMAN, PASSANNANTE, SEABROOK, WEINSTEIN, ZALESKI -- read once
and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection.


AN ACT to ammend the general business law, in relation to the sale of
customer mailing lists and the regulation of customer privacy


The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly
do enact as follows:

Section a. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
336-B to read as follows:

336-B. Restriction on availability of information; written consent;
types of information. 1. Definitions. For purposes of this section: (a)
"Access number" shall mean a telex, teletex, facsimile, computer modem,
or any other code which is used by a residential customer or subscriber
of a telephone or telegraph corporation to direct a communication to
another customer or subscriber of the same or another telephone or
telegraph corporation. (b) "Commission" shall mean the public service
commission as defined by section two of the public service law. (c)
"Corporation" shall mean a telephone or telegraph corporation as defined
by section two of the public service law.

2. Whenever the commission has reviewed a proposal by a telephone or
telegraph corporation to sell marketing lists comprised of residential
customer or subscriber information, and approval is granted, the
corporation shall be prohibited from selling such mailing lists as
provided herein.

3. No telephone or telegraph corporation shall make available to any
other person, firm, partnership, corporation or association or any agent
or employee thereof any information or marketing list which divulges
more information about customers or subscribers than can be obtained
from the listings as, or to be published in the corporation's white
pages telephone directories. Prohibited information shall include, but
not be limited to the following.

(a) The residential customer's or subscriber's personal calling
patterns, including any listing of the telephone or other access numbers
called by the residential customer or subscriber, and excluding the
identification number from which the call was placed. (b) The
residential customer's or subscriber's credit or other personal
financial information. (c) Services obtained from the corporation or
from independent suppliers of information services which use the
corporations telephone or telegraph line to provide service to the
residential customer or subscriber. The provisions of this paragraph
shall not apply to information transmitted between telephone or
telegraph corporations pursuant to the furnishing of telephone service
between service areas; and (d) Demographic information about the
residential customer or subscriber, either as an individual or in the
aggregate.

4. No telephone or telegraph corporation shall sell or offer for sale
any names and/or addresses of any of its customers or subscribers whose
listings have been ommitted from the telephone company's published
directory or directory assistance at the request of the customer or
subscriber.

5. Every telephone and telegraph corporation, prior to the commencement
of selling residential customer or subscriber mailing lists, shall
provide written notification of such practice to residential customers
and subscribers and include such written notification within the
customer and subscriber service bill. Such written notification shall
disclose clearly and conspicuously the corporation's practice of selling
residential customer and subscriber names and addresses, and shall
provide a service bill chec k-off mechanism whereby residential
customers and subscribers may indicate their preference for an exclusion
to the sale of their names and addresses. Such notification and service
bill check-off mechanism shall also be provided in each service bill
subsequent to the commencement of sale of such mailing lists. In
addition, every corporation shall also notify customers and subscribers
of such practice by publishing a conspicuous notification in the
corporation's white pages direct ory.

6. The commission is hereby directed to review all materials to be used
for residential customer or subscriber notification to ensure compliance
with the provisions of this section. Nothing contained herein shall be
deemed to preempt the commission from requiring additional notification
or other conditions on the sale of residential customer or subscriber
names and addresses which provide equal or greater protection to
residential customers or subscribers.





7. Any person who has been injured by reason of a violation of this
 section may bring an action in his or her own name to enjoin such
 violation; an action to recover his or her actual damages, or five
 hundred dollars. whichever is greater; or both such actions. The court
 may, in its discretion, increase the award of damages to an amount not
 to exceed three times the actual damages, if the court finds the
 defendant will fully or knowingly violated any provision of this
 section. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees to a prevailing
 plaintiff.

8. The commission shall enforce the provisions of this section.

Section 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
336-C to read as follows:

336-C  Telephone call identification service privacy.

1. Declaration of legislative findings and intent. The legislature
hereby finds and declares that subscribers to residential telephone
service in this state deserve a reasonable assurance of the maintenance
of their personal privacy, regardless of the introduction of new
technologies that may, in certain circumstances, reduce such privacy.
The legislature further finds and declares that the development of a
technology that allows a person receiving a telephone call to identify
the telephone number from whic h the caller is telephoning does enhance
the privacy of the person receiving the telephone call, but raises
serious concerns regarding the caller's loss of privacy. The legislature
further finds and declares that substantial concern should be given to
the privacy of persons placing as well as to the privacy of persons
receiving telephone calls, since this technology has the possibility of
placing callers in vulnerable positions by pinpointing the exact
location from where a call is made. Therefore, as the legislature does
not wish to discourage the introduction of promising new technology into
the marketplace, it is declared that the simultaneous offering of a
service to block the transmission of a caller's telephone number with
the offering of a telephone number indentification service will serve to
address the expressed concerns of the legislature.

2. No telephone or telegraph corporation, or any person, firm,
partnership[, corporation or association or any agent or employee
thereof which makes use of the facilities of a telephone or telegraph
corporation, shall offer a telephone caller identification service in
this state unless such telephone or telegraph corporation or person,
firm, partnership, corporation of association or any agent or employee
thereof making use of such services shall also allow any residential
caller to withhold the display of the caller's telephone number form the
telephone or other receiving instrument of the individual receiving the
telephone call placed by the residential caller, whether on an
individual, per call basis, or a blanket witholding.

3. There shall be no charge to the residential caller who requests that
his or her telephone number be withheld from the recipient of any call
placed by the residential caller.

4. Every telephone or telegraph corporation shall provide, within thirty
or more day prior to commencement by the telephone or telegraph
corporation of participation in the offering of a telephone caller
identification service, a clear and conspicuous written notification to
its residential customers and subscribers that their calls may be
identified to a called party. Such notification shall also be provided
upon commencement of service to any new residential customer or
subscriber. Such written notificati on shall also inform residential
customers and subscribers of the availability of a free service allowing
the caller to withhold the display of the caller's telephone number from
the telephone or other receiving instrument of the individual receiving
the call placed by the caller, whether on an individual, per call basis,
or a blanket withholding.

5. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following: (a)
An identification service which is used within the same limited system,
including, but not limited to, a Centrex or private exchange (PBX)
system, as the recipient telephone; (b) An identification service which
is used on a public agency's emergency telephone line or on the line
which which receives the primary emergency number (911); or (c) Any
identification service provided in connection with legally sanctioned
call tracing or tapping procedures.

6. Any telephone or telegraph corporation which violates any provision
of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed five
hundred dollars for each violation. In the case of a violation through
continuing failure to comply with any provision of this section, each
day of the continuance of such failure shall be treated as a separate
violation.

7. Any person who has been injured by reason of a violation of this
section may bring action in his or her own name to recover his or her
own actual damages or five hundred dollars, whichever is greater. The
court may, in its discretion, increase the award of damages to an amount
not to exceed three times the actual damages, if the court finds the
defendant willfully or knowingly violated any provision of this section.
The court may award reasonable attorney';s fees to a prevailing
plaintiff.

8. For purposes of this section the phrase "telephone caller
identification service" or identification service" shall mean a service
offered to telephone subscribers which allows a subscriber to see a
display of the caller's telephone number.

9. The commissioner shall enforce the provisions of this section.

Section 3. The provisions of this act shall not be construed as to limit
or preempt the existing authority of any court, department or agency of
the state to regulate the practices of telephone or telegraph
corporations doing business in this state.

Section 4. This act shall take effect immediately except that sections
two and three of this act shall take effect on the first day of January
next succeeding the date on which it shall become law.



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