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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Robocalls to cell phones illegal without permission



With Election Day here, take a moment to celebrate temporary relief from the robocall.

Campaigns around the state turn to the quick, cheap outreach to prod voters to the polls. You’ve heard them: “(pause) Hello, this is So-And-So, and I’m calling to urge you to join me in supporting Blah-De-Blah.” Good for you if the message got that far before you hung up.

It may only be worse the next election cycle. As cell phones displace landlines in a quarter of American households, robocalls aren’t just for the dinner table anymore.

Especially if your cell phone is your primary number — the one you used, say, on your voter registration form — you may have been interrupted by a political message during a meeting or running errands.

That’s even though the Federal Communications Commission says it’s illegal. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act doesn’t allow auto-dialed or prerecorded phone calls to cell phones without permission — even from politicians. Robocallers are supposed to weed those numbers from databases. Read more here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:47am]


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