Businesses in New York will face a tougher law with steeper penalties for telemarketing activities as of March 1, 2020.

In late 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the Nuisance Call Act, which mandates that live-voice outbound telemarketers must inform consumers that they have the option to be added to the seller’s internal do-not-call (DNC) list.

If a consumer chooses this option, the telemarketer must immediately end the call and add the number to the internal DNC list. This requirement was previously limited to prerecorded voice calls.

The statute also expanded restrictions on the sharing of customer data, requiring telemarketers to obtain express agreement—in writing or electronic format—before any contact information (such as name, telephone number or email address) can be shared or sold.

Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $11,000.

The new law does feature a safe harbor for companies that obtain the list of names on the national Do Not Call registry at least every 31 days and implement a comprehensive and documented DNC compliance program.

“With these new protections, we can help ensure New Yorkers receive fewer unwanted calls and their privacy is protected once and for all,” Governor Cuomo said.

To read the new law, click here.

Why it matters: Businesses operating in New York should take note of the new requirements for telemarketers and begin preparing for compliance as the March 1 effective date approaches.