CRTC targets telemarketers making robocalls

News Release

June 14, 2016 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Since January 2015, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office have been working together as part of a concerted effort to target robocalls in their respective jurisdictions.

Over the last 18 months, the CRTC has targeted telemarketers and clients of telemarketers for making robocalls to Canadians.

As a result, the CRTC has taken enforcement action against nine companies and individuals, resulting in one citation and over $490,000 in penalties.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC’s Chief Compliance Enforcement Officer has focused on telemarketers and clients of telemarketers that use automatic dialing-announcing devices (also known as robocalls) to call Canadians whose numbers are registered on the National Do Not Call List.
  • The CRTC previously announced that seven organizations had paid a total of $475,000 for making robocalls while another has been ordered to pay a total of $18,000.
  • Another organization was also issued a citation for having made robocalls to Canadians for the purpose of debt recovery.
  • A citation is a procedural administrative action that alleges violation(s) and notes the specific corrective action to be taken within a certain time frame.
  • A total of 40 cases have been brought forward by the four organizations targeting these activities.
  • The use of robocalls are tightly restricted by the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
  • To date, the CRTC has imposed penalties totaling over $8 million payable to the Receiver General of Canada.
  • The CRTC is committed to protecting the privacy Canadians and is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure telemarketers follow the Rules.
  • In June 2016, the CRTC signed a memorandum of understanding with 11 enforcement agencies to share information and intelligence in the fight against unsolicited messages and phone calls.
  • In March 2016, the CRTC signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to further strengthen ties by facilitating research and education initiatives, expand knowledge and intelligence sharing, as well as training.

Quote

“Robocalls are a nuisance to Canadians and to citizens in many other countries. Together with our partners, we have conducted a sustained campaign to investigate those who disregard the rules and make non-compliant robocalls. We are proud of the results, which has seen dozens of individuals and companies in several countries being held to account for their actions. We will continue to work collaboratively to protect the privacy of Canadians and to combat unsolicited calls.”

Manon Bombardier, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer

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