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AFSA Comments on Proposed Text Rule

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AFSA Comments on Proposed Text Rule

Today, the American Financial Services Association joined other associations (The American Bankers Association, ACA International, Credit Union National Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, National Council of Higher Education Resources, and Student Loan Servicing Alliance), in filing a comment with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its effort to target and eliminate unlawful text messages. The FCC’s proposed rule would require mobile wireless providers to block texts at the network level that purport to be from invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers, and numbers on a Do-Not-Originate (DNO) list. The associations support the FCC’s proposal because those messages are highly likely to be illegal.

However, some bad actors illegally “spoof” phone numbers of legitimate businesses when sending text messages. Given this practice, the associations urge the FCC to ensure that the rule does not block legitimate businesses from communicating with their customers. In cases of potential fraud, point-of-sale, or multi-factor-authentication communications, businesses must be able to communicate directly and quickly with their customers in order to ensure safe and smooth transactions. The associations provided three suggestions for the FCC to protect the consumer from bad actors: 

  • That the FCC exclude “short code” text messages (text messages that businesses send from five- or six-digit numbers registered with CTIA (the U.S. wireless communication industry’s trade group), from any mandatory blocking, unless there is evidence that the sender is illegally spoofing the message. 
  • That the FCC require mobile providers’ immediate notification when a sender’s text message has been blocked, and to resolve disputes immediately, and no later than six hours after receiving the dispute.
  • That if the FCC decides to include IP-based text messages in its proposed caller ID authentication mandate, the FCC ensure legitimate IP-based text messages are not blocked.

November 11th, 2022 by