New York Amends Telemarketing Statute to Cover Text Messages

The New York legislature recently amended the state’s telemarketing statute (Section 399-z of the General Business Law), to include SMS and MMS text messages within its parameters.

Embodied in Senate Bill 3941 and Assembly Bill 6040, the legislation actually modifies a number of the definitions included within Section 399-z, including “telemarketer” and “telemarketing” to add the term “or electronic messaging text” after “telephone call” or “telemarketing sales call.”

The definition of “electronic messaging text” covers “real-time or near real-time non-voice messages in text form over communications networks, and includes the transmission of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all kinds by aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the points of origin and reception of such transmission.”

Governor Cuomo signed the legislation on July 13, 2021, and the amendments to the statute will go into effect on August 12, 2021.

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