New Maryland Bill Would Adopt Expansive Florida and Oklahoma Auto-Dialer Definition Tracking – TCPAWorld

There’s a disease, folks, and it’s spreading.

The Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA) introduced a definition of an autodialer that had never been seen before: a system that automatically dials or select numbers to call. This definition was SPECIFICALLY adopted to sweep so-called “click to dial” systems within the purview of the regulation and to make it impossible to dial at scale without the use of a human selection system, or express written consent.

While the Florida legislature flirted with amending the bill, it ultimately kept the current language, which was later adopted by Oklahoma.

Well, the once great state of Maryland has decided to jump on the bandwagon and has proposed its own Mini-TCPA. Unlike the muddled mess of the FTSA or Michigan’s entire tome, the Maryland bill is an elegant proposal designed to prevent spoofing along with non-consensual marketing calls.

Here are the key things you need to know:

  1. If passed, the Maryland Stop Spam Calls Act of 2023 would require express written consent, in accordance with federal regulations, for any pre-recorded or automated marketing calls;
  2. The definition of autodialer is extremely broad and reflects Florida’s focus on a system that EITHER selects or dials numbers, and does NOT require the use of a randomizer or number generator;
  3. “Telephone Solicitation” means an organized activity, program, or campaign to contact Maryland residents by telephone in order to: (i) sell, lease, or rent goods or services;

    (ii) attempt to sell, lease or rent goods or services;

    (iii) offer or attempt to offer a gift or prize;

    (iv) conduct or attempt to conduct a survey; either

    (v) request or attempt to request survey information, if the survey results will be used directly to solicit individuals to purchase, lease, or rent goods or services.

  4. There are strictly worded exceptions for non-profit organizations and B2B calls; please read them carefully before relying on them.
  5. A violation of the Act constitutes an illegal business practice under the state’s Unlawful Business Practices Act, which authorizes civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation!
  6. The bill would also copy Florida’s limitation of 3 attempts per 24 hours and would close calls at 8 pm in the caller’s time zone; this appears to INCLUDE CALLS MADE WITH CONSENT!
  7. The bill is officially designated as HB 0037 cross-filed with SB009. The first reading was 01/11/23 and the proposed effective date is 10/01/23.

We’ll keep an eye on this!

For now you can read the bill here: Maryland – Law to Stop Spam Calls