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AARP's Letter of Support for the TRACED Act

Thank you, Senator Ed Markey, for including AARP as part of your press conference to propose the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and
Deterrence Act (TRACED Act). We are encouraged by the TRACED Act's potential to eliminate relentless robocalls that our almost 38 million members across the United States face daily.

Watch the conference  and read AARP's Letter of Support below

On behalf of our nearly 38 million members and all older Americans nationwide, AARP
is pleased to endorse the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act), which addresses the fraudulent activities that
sometimes take place through robocalls. This Act will expand the powers of the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to levy civil penalties against robocallers, require
service providers to adopt the current state-of-the-art call authentication technology, and
promote interagency cooperation to address the robocall problem.
AARP believes that the TRACED Act will pave the way for relief from unwanted
robocalls, which frequently are associated with fraudulent activities. The TRACED Act
mandates the adoption of “STIR/SHAKEN” call authentication, which has the potential
to block robocallers and other telephone spammers. The expanded authority granted to
the FCC to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call should also act as a deterrent to
the robocalling problem. All of these measures have the potential to generate
substantial benefits for consumers.

While AARP is strongly supportive of the robocall blocking that will result from the
STIR/SHAKEN authentication technology, AARP is concerned that unintentional
blocking of innocent callers may result from the new technology. When discussing the
ability of consumers to apply existing blocking solutions, the final Robocall Strike Force
Report noted that, “solutions will always have some level of false positives.”1 In any call
authentication framework, a false positive would arise when a caller who is not a
robocaller has their number blocked due to an error—resulting in the inability to make
calls. The TRACED Act acknowledges this potential by instructing the FCC to establish
“a process to permit a calling party adversely affected by the information provided by
the call authentication framework . . . to verify the authenticity of the calling party’s calls.”
This instruction is appropriate and the FCC should complete the rulemaking
within 18 months (the same timeframe as the full implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN
authentication process).

AARP has a long history of fighting for protections for older Americans through our
Fraud Watch Network, which is a nationwide program focused on empowering
consumers to protect themselves, their family and their communities from fraud and
scams. AARP is encouraged by the TRACED Act, which has the potential to eliminate
illegal robocalls. All Americans will benefit from the provisions of the Act that promote
an accurate call authentication framework. We look forward to working with you and
your colleagues on a bipartisan basis to combat unwanted and abusive robocalls
against older Americans. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or
have your staff contact Dawit Kahsai on our Government Affairs staff at (202) 434-3761.

Nancy A. LeaMond
Executive Vice President and
Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer

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