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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FTC updates the Telemarketing Sales Rule, proposes tech support rule

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues FTC TSR Artificial Intelligence

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On March 7, the FTC announced updates to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to extend fraud protections to businesses and modernize recordkeeping requirements in response to technological advancements. These updates were part of an ongoing review of the TSR, which governs telemarketing practices and includes the Do Not Call Registry (DNC) and issued rules against telemarketing robocalls.

The newly finalized rule broadened the scope of prohibited deceptive and abusive telemarketing practices to include business-to-business calls, which were previously exempt, except in specific cases. The rule also revised the TSR's recordkeeping requirements to reflect changes in technology and telemarketing methods, which included maintaining detailed call records and consent documentation, as well as compliance with the DNC Registry.

In addition to these updates, the FTC proposed a rule that would enhance its ability to tackle tech support scams by extending the TSR's coverage to include inbound telemarketing calls for technical support services. This amendment addressed deceptive tech support schemes and would empower the FTC to seek stronger legal remedies such as civil penalties and consumer compensation. The Commission invited public feedback on a proposed definition of tech support scams.