TRENTON – A measure by Senators Paul A. Sarlo and Joseph Coniglio to prohibit the use of fax machines to transmit unsolicited advertisements received Senate approval today.
“Today we continue our fight to eliminate the nuisance of unwanted advertisements and solicitations,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen. “With the Do Not Call registry we empowered the public to free themselves of telemarketers, and now we are one step closer to having our fax machines off limits as well. We are committed to staying one step ahead of spammers.”
The bill, S-342, would prohibit a person in this State from using a fax machine, computer or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to another telephone fax machine within the State. The bill also provides that individuals or companies violating the law could be sued for actual damages or $500 for each violation, whichever is greater, and the costs of suit and reasonable attorney’s fees. If the offender continues to send unwanted faxes, the minimum damages would go up to $1000. Individuals who receive unwanted faxes could also choose to report the offending company or individual under the State’s consumer fraud laws.
“Fax spamming is worse than e-mail spamming or getting telemarketer calls during dinner time,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “Not only is it annoying, but it costs money, through wasted paper and toner. I know of few businesses that don’t regularly clean unwanted advertisements off of their fax machines or have an important fax delayed by the receipt of spam.”
The bill would allow an unsolicited fax advertisement to be sent to an individual where there is an existing business relationship between the sender of the unsolicited fax advertisement and the individual provided that the first page of the unsolicited advertisement discloses to the recipient that the recipient may request the sender not to send any future unsolicited advertisements to the recipient’s telephone fax machine and also discloses the telephone and fax machine number for the recipient to transmit the request.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 37-0. It now goes to the Governor for his signature.