TCPA Monitor

Comprehensive news and analysis of TCPA regulation and related matters

Jul 30, 2020

FCC Selects Industry Traceback Group to Lead Illegal Robocall Source Identification Efforts

On July 27, 2020, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau designated USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group (ITG) as the official consortium to coordinate efforts to trace back the source of illegal robocalls. ITG is a collection of voice service providers that focuses on tracing the source of suspected unlawful robocalls. If ITG detects likely illegal call traffic, it may work with participants in [...]

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Jul 09, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take On ATDS Definition Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in Duguid v. Facebook, a case that will hopefully settle at last how an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) is defined under the TCPA. The decision comes within days of a Court decision that upheld the TCPA’s sweeping ban on autodialed calls to cellphones while holding that calls made to collect [...]

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Jul 06, 2020

BREAKING: Supreme Court Invalidates Government-Backed Debt Collection Exception, Upholds Rest of TCPA

In 2015, Congress exempted calls made to collect debts owed to or guaranteed by the United States from the TCPA’s autodialer restrictions. Today, in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the exemption unconstitutionally favors debt collection speech over political and other speech. After determining that the exemption is unconstitutional, the court [...]

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Jul 06, 2020

FCC Reaffirms Click-to-Text Platforms are Not Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has issued a Declaratory Ruling reaffirming that click-to-text systems requiring human intervention for each individual text message are not automatic telephone dialing systems (“ATDS”). The petitioner, P2P Alliance, argued that its peer-to-peer (“P2P”) texting platform requires a human to “to actively and affirmatively manually dial each recipient’s number and transmit each message one at a [...]

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Jun 22, 2020

52 Attorneys General Seek to Ramp Up Enforcement on Illegal Robocalls

The state attorneys general (“AGs”) have signaled that they are ramping up their efforts to combat illegal telephone calls. Fifty-two AGs, including American Samoa and Puerto Rico, recently issued a letter (“Letter”) to the Industry Traceback Group (“ITG”), stating that the AGs want to strengthen their relationship with ITG to more aggressively combat robocalls. The ITG is a collaborative effort [...]

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Jun 12, 2020

Eastern District of California Further Defines Reasonable Revocation of Consent in TCPA Case

In the 2017 case ACA v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit Court confirmed prior Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidance that Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) consent to be called can be revoked by “any reasonable means.” Since that ruling, trial courts have provided guidance on what constitutes “reasonable.” Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California weighed [...]

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Jun 08, 2020

STIR/SHAKEN: What it Means for You

Thanks to all who joined M&S Partner Michele Shuster and Senior Attorney Josh Stevens last Thursday for our webinar: STIR/SHAKEN – What it Means for You. Below are additional questions and answers that we did not have time for in the presentation. Were you unable to attend? View this 30-minute webinar in its entirety here.  STIR/SHAKEN call authentication stands to [...]

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Jun 04, 2020

What is an Advertisement? How Much Deference Should Courts Give FCC Orders?

One of the most hotly contested issues in TCPA litigation is whether a communication qualifies as an advertisement. For faxes, the determination impacts whether the TCPA applies at all. For calls made and texts sent to cell phones using an autodialer, the determination dictates the necessary level of consent. Case law on the issue is inconsistent at best. Recent decisions [...]

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May 07, 2020

Eleventh Circuit Finds Contractual TCPA Consent Can’t Be Revoked

The Eleventh Circuit has joined the Second Circuit in finding that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) does not authorize unilateral revocation of consent to receive automated calls when such consent is given in a bargained-for contractual provision. In a favorable opinion for Dish Network, the court held that Dish had permission to continue placing robocalls to a subscriber, even [...]

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May 06, 2020

New FCC Provisions Increase Liability Risk for TCPA Violations

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 [...]

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