In an Order issued Friday, the Federal Communications Commission implemented enhanced liability provisions for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) violations Congress passed as part of the TRACED Act. Specifically, under the new provisions:
- The Commission will not be required to issue an administrative citation prior to seeking penalties against non-compliant callers. Previously, the Commission had to first issue an administrative citation and could only seek penalties for calls/texts made after citation issuance.
- The statute of limitations for administrative enforcement has been extended from two years to four years.
- Intentional violations could be punished by up to $10,000 per call/text over and above existing forfeiture penalties.
The Commission’s action is the latest in a series of regulatory changes mandated by the TRACED Act intended to curb the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages without proper consent, and comes on the heels of the Commission’s Report and Order requiring implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework by carriers. Callers should take note that under these enhanced enforcement provisions, the Commission is likely to take a more active role in TCPA enforcement moving forward. Smart businesses should re-visit their TCPA compliance programs to ensure they are adequate for current calling operations.