A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Duran v. La Boom Disco, Inc. has interrupted the emerging consensus around the definition of “autodialer” in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. On April 7, 2020, a Second Circuit panel joined a Ninth Circuit panel in adopting a broad reading of the statutory definition of “automatic telephone dialing system,” commonly referred to as an autodialer. The Duran decision also rejected the reasoning in opinions issued by panels in the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits earlier this year, which deepens the split between the Courts of Appeals and increases the pressure on the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, and even the U.S. Supreme Court to provide clarity on what constitutes an autodialer under the TCPA.
On March 20, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling confirming that the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus qualifies as an emergency under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. As a result, hospitals, health care providers, health officials, and other government officials may use automated calls and text messages to communicate information about COVID-19 when “necessary to protect the health and safety of citizens,” without violating the TCPA.
Slowly but surely, the U.S. Courts of Appeal increasingly agree on how to interpret the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. On February 19, 2020, a unanimous Seventh Circuit panel refused to revise a putative class action in Gadelhak v. AT&T Services, Inc. after concluding that the dialing system used by AT&T did not qualify as an autodialer. Like the Eleventh Circuit in Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC and Third Circuit in Dominguez v. Yahoo, Inc., the Seventh Circuit held that an “autodialer” must use “a random or sequential number generator” to either store or produce numbers. Because the system used by AT&T simply pulled numbers from a database, the court found that the system was not an autodialer and the texts did not violate the TCPA.
Please join us on Thursday, January 9 for a webinar discussion with Hogan Lovells attorneys Mark Brennan, Arpan Sura, and Kathryn Marshall Ali of how changes in robocall legislation may impact your compliance efforts.
On June 20, 2019, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in PDR v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic. The Court was expected to provide greater clarity about the extent to which litigants can challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act interpretations in private litigation. Instead of deciding that issue, however, the Court vacated the Fourth Circuit’s ruling and remanded the case for further development. How the Fourth Circuit rules on remand may ultimately provide more insight on how much deference is owed to the FCC’s TCPA interpretations.
Now that the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s highly anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act decision in ACA International, et al, v. FCC, the Federal Communications Commission is going back to the drawing board in a new Public Notice that seeks comment on foundational TCPA issues.
Please join us for our November 2017 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
Join us tomorrow, October 25 for the next installment of our 2017 Internet of Things webinar series and get practical guidance on privacy compliance challenges presented by the Internet of Things.
Growing evidence suggests that existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act compliance challenges, and the current TCPA litigation landscape, are increasingly a threat to many U.S. companies – particularly small businesses that have fewer resources and could face financial ruin if targeted by a class action lawsuit. To help address this issue and support the U.S. economy, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission should revise the current TCPA framework and facilitate reasonable, practical compliance approaches for companies attempting in good faith to communicate with customers.
Please join us for our June 2017 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events.
Please join us for our April 2016 Privacy and Cybersecurity Events, including discussions on the Internet of Things, big data in healthcare, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, international data flows, and more.
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $2.96 million forfeiture against Travel Club Marketing, Inc. for apparent violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related FCC rules regarding the delivery of prerecorded messages, as well as its Caller ID rules. This enforcement action serves as a reminder to companies placing autodialed calls or delivering prerecorded messages to ensure that such calls and messages comply with federal and state laws. Otherwise, they risk not only class action litigation, but also potential regulatory enforcement fines that are imposed on a per-call basis.
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House that would modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and enable businesses to make additional informational calls to wireless telephone numbers. As currently drafted, however, the bill would retain many of the existing restrictions on placing telemarketing calls to wireless telephones.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Expedited Clarification and Declaratory Ruling (Petition) filed by Global Tel*Link Corporation (Global Tel) regarding its outbound calling practices. The Petition raises several key issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related FCC rules, including whether certain calls (e.g., […]