FTC to delay purge of Do Not Call list

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The Federal Trade Commission agreed earlier this week to delay purging numbers on the national Do Not Call list. It is waiting for a ruling from Congress, which is currently considering a bill to make registrations on the list permanent.

Current FTC rules state that numbers on the registry last for five years before they must be renewed. Because the registry started in 2003, the first people to have signed up are set to be cleared from the list in June 2008.

Originally, the five-year limit was introduced to keep the registry up to date on numbers that had changed or been disconnected. However, the registry also uses a scrubbing program that purges disconnected or reassigned numbers on a monthly basis - leading some policymakers to call the 5-year purge unnecessary.

A House subcommittee met earlier this week to discuss bill H.R. 2601, which would renew all numbers on the Do Not Call List through 2012.

Another bill, H.R. 3541, would make Do Not Call registrations permanent. In the Senate, the bill for permanent registrations is called S. 2096. In both the House and the Senate, the bill is still in its first stages and has been referred to a committee.

More than 70% of American adults who have heard of the Do Not Call registry have signed up, according to the FTC. Companies who ignore the registry face fines of up to $11,000 per violation.

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