Telecommunications (Science, Technology, Communications, and Infrastructure related)
|Topic||Bill number||Author||Interest position||Became law|
|An Act to Add Part 2.7 (Commencing with Section 60) to Division 1 of the Civil Code, Relating to Privacy.||SB 242 (2011-2012)||Corbett||Oppose||No|
Existing law requires an operator of a commercial Internet Web site or online service that collects personally identifiable information through the Internet about individual consumers residing in… More
|An Act to Amend Sections 2889.9 and 2890 of the Public Utilities Code, Relating to Telecommunications.||SB 905 (2011-2012)||Wolk||Oppose||No|
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, as defined. Existing law requires a telephone bill to only… More
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, as defined. Existing law requires a telephone bill to only contain charges for products or services, the purchase of which the subscriber has authorized. Existing law establishes various requirements for billing telephone corporations. Pursuant to these requirements, the commission has adopted rules to specify the responsibilities and procedures that must be followed to address and report cramming-related issues. Cramming occurs when an unauthorized charge is placed on a subscriber’s telephone bill. This bill, except for telephone corporations that either provide service only to business or wholesale customers or offer mobile telephony services through a prepaid or pay-in-advance method, would require that the reporting requirements and standards relative to cramming complaints be uniform for all billing telephone corporations, as defined. The bill would require that the commission annually report to the Legislature, on or before June 1 of each year, on any investigation commenced by the commission’s consumer protection and safety division when the commission receives more than 100 complaints regarding unauthorized telephone charges in any 90-day period as to a person, corporation, or billing agent, as defined. The bill would require the commission to impose a civil penalty and order a billing telephone corporation to cease to provide billing services for a service provider, as defined, or billing agent whenever the incidence of meritorious subscriber complaints of unauthorized billings, as defined, exceeds 5% of the customer accounts that were billed on behalf of a service provider or billing agent. The bill would require a billing telephone corporation to notify its subscribers whenever this 5% meritorious complaint penalty and termination requirement is invoked, identifying the service provider or billing agent with a clear and informative description of the nature of the charges that were unauthorized, and would authorize any subscriber that made or makes a meritorious complaint with respect to that service provider or billing agent, to terminate without financial or other penalty, the remaining term of a service contract with the billing telephone corporation. The bill would require the commission to make certain information relative to cramming available to the public over the Internet and in bill inserts to be included with billings by billing telephone corporations. Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime. Because certain provisions of this bill incorporate those criminal provisions of the act with respect to a telephone corporation and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.