The origins of the Do Not Call Registry are complex and interesting. They evolved from the right to be left alone, from the right to privacy in one’s home and from the idea that privacy had become a fundamental right. The US federal government has enacted legislation that allows individuals to opt into a National Do Not Call database. This Registry is not in fact impeding commercial freedom of speech, since the government is not telling telemarketers not to call these individuals: it is a venue by which an individual can tell telemarketers to leave them alone. Under the law – the right to privacy – the federal government will enforce the right to privacy on behalf of the registrants of the DNC.
This National Do Not Call Registry was written into law March 2003, and the registry was instituted in October 2003. The law exempts professional market research firms from scrubbing their phone numbers of numbers found in the DNC registry.
Although some firms have opted to do so, ASDE does not recommend the practice of scrubbing sample lists. Most households on the DNC list do not object to calls from legitimate market survey research professionals and deleting these numbers will have a negative impact on the integrity and validity of RDD samples.
Survey research professionals respect the rights, the privacy and the value the respondents bring to the industry. By continuously improving our public relations and the way we conduct research we will ensure the sustainability of this precious resource: respondent cooperation.