The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, July 28, 2003

leave me alone
One month after the National Do Not Call Registry opened with resounding success, the telemarketing industry is launching suits against the Federal government, attempting to abolish it.

You can't blame them for trying. And the thing is, they've got a point. Technically, there is no right to privacy, while the First Amendment enshrines the right to free speech. Whether or not commercial "speech", like advertising and marketing pitches, is covered by the First is a topic that's been deliberated in the courts for a long while now, and the argument on that isn't over. The Registry, in fact, is a step toward delegitimizing such speech.

Therefore, this action by the American Teleservices Association signifies the industry going on the offensive, before all hope is lost. From their perspective, why not? Think about it: What's their motivation to not call you? So that a business can earn the goodwill of a non-customer, that won't buy from them, and likely will continue to not to buy from them because they're not aware of what they have to offer? Given this, intruding on people and pissing them off is really a no-lose situation.