“Zoeller warns political parties: Do not ‘robo-call’; Letter provides fair warning of Indiana’s telephone privacy laws”

The following press release arrived via email:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Political candidates pulling for votes by “robo-calling” Hoosiers during the upcoming election cycle can expect a swift response from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.   

In a recent letter to political parties, Zoeller stressed the importance of respecting Indiana’s Auto Dialer Law. This law restricts the use of technology that automatically dials residential phone numbers and plays prerecorded messages – an activity known as robo-calling.

“The message to political parties and candidates is quite simple, but I want it to be clear; respect Hoosiers’ privacy, respect our laws – do not robo-call,” Zoeller said. “I would much rather focus on educating those who may need reminded of our strict laws than aggressively pursuing those who opt to violate the statute and disrespect our citizens’ privacy.”

Campaigns and political groups are allowed to make robo-calls to households only if a live operator first obtains the consumer’s permission or if the recipient opts in to receiving such calls. Disregarding the law can result in the Attorney General filing a lawsuit seeking civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation against those responsible.

Last year, leaders of the Indiana political parties signed a pledge crafted by Zoeller and disavowed robo-calls and urged their candidates to refrain from using such tactics. Zoeller said because of the “Treaty of 2010” his office saw a significant decline in the number of robo-call complaints.

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