Legislation (S.3941/A.6040) Adds Text Messages to State’s Definition of Telemarketing in Addition to Robocalls, Giving New Yorkers More Protection

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.3941/A.6040) expanding New York State’s definition of telemarketing to include marketing by text message. New Yorkers have protection against unwanted robocalls under state law, but texting was not previously defined as telemarketing, exempting it from those protections. This legislation closes that loophole.

“Our consumer protections need to keep pace with technology and New Yorkers who have long been plagued by the nuisance of annoying calls from telemarketers now have to contend with unwanted texts attempting to sell them things they don’t want,” Governor Cuomo said. “This legislation closes this annoying loophole and will help ensure our laws are modernized to confront the needs of New Yorkers.”

Telemarketing, also known as robocalling, has been a longstanding nuisance for New Yorkers and people across the country. Under New York State law, the definition of telemarketing was previously limited to phone calls. Text messages are commonly used by telemarketers but were not previously defined as telemarketing in the law.