ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 14

[Law&Orders]

State-Level Trends
in Enforcement
By Ari N. Rothman and Shahin O. Rothermel

S

tate attorneys general have
always taken an aggressive
stance toward consumer
protection issues. Lately,
however, many states have
stepped up the resources
they devote to consumer
protection enforcement in certain areas.
Some have openly stated a desire to protect the consumers within their states,
while others have interpreted their jurisdictional powers more broadly, and they
are seeking to enforce laws against any
company that touches their borders.
We looked at state enforcements
over the past year to identify trends.
Although they are by no means exhaustive, here are some of our observations.
Telemarketing
Some states are showing increased
interest in regulating telemarketers.
For example, New York Gov. Andrew
Cuomo released a plan late last year to
protect New Yorkers from deceptive
telemarketing practices in response to
rising consumer complaints.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis
Hill announced a new telephone
privacy campaign, "Do Not Call/Do
Not Answer," in February to protect
consumers from phone scams. Indiana
offers an online reporting option that
allows consumers to complain about
specific telephone numbers and specific
companies, making it easier for the
attorney general's office to identify and
focus enforcement actions. Thousands

14

electronicRetailer | July-August 2017

of complaints have been generated
relating to robocalling and Do Not Call
violations since the registry went live.
Arizona law makes a telemarketer's
failure to register with its secretary
of state a Class 5 felony. In August
2016, the state legislature passed a bill
expanding the definition of "telephone
solicitation" to include calls made from
within Arizona to out-of-state consumers, and the state has entered multiple
settlements, including a $6 million ruling against a Phoenix-based telemarketer.
In addition to the states mentioned
above, Idaho, Utah, Florida, Ohio,
and Missouri are actively targeting
telemarketers. The Utah Department
of Commerce's Division of Consumer Protection, for example, has a
three-pronged approach-education,
registration, and enforcement. State law
requires companies-even out-of-state
companies-to register with the state,
and the division makes a practice of
targeting companies that fail to register
or violate Utah's consumer protection
laws following registration.
Mail Fraud
Mail may seem passé, but it still generates consumer response and regulatory
scrutiny. Companies making claims
through mailings are not in the clear.
Iowa has brought several cases against
mailing operations that solicited Iowa
consumers recently, including cases
against lead generators and companies
that help facilitate marketing, billing,

Ari N. Rothman is a partner at Venable
LLP and Shahin O. Rothermel is an
associate in the firm's Advertising, Marketing, and New Media practice group.
They can be contacted at (202) 344-4000.

and debt collection. Iowa isn't shying
away from out-of-state companies,
either, entering settlements with a
Nevada company issuing "Beat the
Lottery" and "Beat the House" direct
mailings, and a California tax relief/tax
preparation company.
Kentucky, Washington, New York,
and Tennessee are targeting out-of-state
companies for sending deceptive direct
mail into their states, including mailings
that impersonated state government
correspondence, solicited businesses,
and advertised vacation rentals.
Data Privacy and Security
New York has been particularly active
in enforcing data privacy and data security laws, reaching multiple settlements
with companies for data breaches in
the past year, including, among others,
computer manufacturer Acer, an online



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ER Magazine - July/August 2017

Happenings
Bottom Line
Out & About
Dispatches
Retail Movers
Dish With Rick Petry
Fair Trade
Making The Brand
Agency Insights
Law & Orders
25 Years of Tristar
Direct to Digital
Smart Buy
Classifieds
Advertisers’ Index
DR 101
Parting Shot
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover1
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover2
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Happenings
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Bottom Line
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Out & About
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Dispatches
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 5
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Retail Movers
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 7
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Dish With Rick Petry
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 9
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Fair Trade
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Making The Brand
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Agency Insights
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 13
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Law & Orders
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 15
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 25 Years of Tristar
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 17
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 18
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 19
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Direct to Digital
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 21
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 22
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 23
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Smart Buy
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - DR 101
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 27
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Parting Shot
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover3
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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