Everyone can agree — robocalls are an irksome part of modern life. There was enough agreement in congress to get a bi-partisan bill passed into law in less than one year.
This law will not eliminate robocalls, but the intent is to deter them with stiffer penalties, a longer statute of limitations and more pressure for
phone services to authenticate incoming calls.
The TRACED Act was signed into federal law by President Donald Trump on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. It was introduced Jan. 16, 2019 by Sen. John Thune (R-SD).
TRACED stands for Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act. It gives more teeth to existing laws by creating new penalties for violators of certain types of robocalls.
The law amends sections of the existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Robocalls are automatic calls placed to mobile phones and home telephone lines. These calls are usually used to ensnare the recipient into a phone scam. They also can just be a nuisance.
This law puts pressure on phone providers to figure out how to authenticate calls to stop them from reaching you.
According to CNET.com, Federal regulators like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now have up to four years to pursue violators. Previous statutes allowed for one year.
Intentional robocall violators can be levied an additional penalty of $10,000.
CNET.com reports that the average person received 164 robocalls in 2019, and 54 billion were made overall.
A White House news release states, “American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation.”