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HL Chronicle of Data Protection Privacy & Information Security News & Trends
Posted in Consumer Privacy

New TCPA Reform Bill Introduced in House

Representatives Terry (R-NE) and Towns (D-NY) have introduced legislation intended to modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”) and authorize additional calls to wireless telephone numbers.

The Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 (H.R. 3035) would revise the TCPA to, inter alia, exempt informational calls (i.e., non-telemarketing calls) from the TCPA’s current restriction on autodialed or artificial/prerecorded calls to wireless telephone numbers. Specifically, it would exempt informational calls made for a commercial purpose, as long as they do not include a solicitation. The bill would continue to restrict autodialed or artificial/prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and require prior express consent for such calls, although it would make clear that a person who provides a telephone number as a means of contact evidences prior express consent. 

As currently drafted, the bill does not include a retroactivity provision or other language that would mitigate the potential exposure of companies for prior TCPA violations.

The bill would also narrow the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” to provide more flexibility for companies to use predictive dialers and other technologies that do not use a random or sequential number generator to produce and dial telephone numbers.