Telephone Consumer Protection Act Of 1991

Created by Laura Biber on March 11, 2016 1925

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 places restrictions on telephone solicitations and the use of automatic telephone equipment. The TCPA required the FTC to develop rules to "protect residential telephone subscribers' privacy rights and avoid receiving telephone solicitations to which they object." The TCPA also granted the FCC the authority to create a single national database of telephone numbers of residential subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations. This is commonly known as the "Do Not Call List."

The FCC's initial implementation of the do not call list did not provide for a single, national list. It instead required companies to maintain their own list of persons that had requested from a specific company that they not receive telemarketing calls. This proved ineffective, however, as consumers had to request to be placed on the do not call list of every company. In 1994, Congress passed the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, which gave the FTC (not the FCC) the authority to develop rules prohibiting deceptive telemarketing practices. In 2002, Congress passed the Do Not Call Implementation Act, making it clear that the FTC had the authority to implement a national do not call list. Both the FCC and FTC currently work together to implement the do not call list. They are both required to coordinate their rules and implementation of the do not call list to provide consistency to telemarketers trying to comply with the lists. 

The TCPA limits the use of automated dialing systems,  pre-recorded messages, faxes, and text messages without first obtaining the consent of the party being communicated with. 

The FCC initially published rules under the TCPA in 1992, and the most recent update to those rules were adopted on June 18, 2015. The new rules sought to address consumer complaints about robocalls and spam texts. Some of the highlights of the new rules are: (1) text mess...

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Written by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 2480
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Supporting Authority

Moser v. F.C.C., 46 F.3d. 970 (9th Cir. 1995)
Link to Supporting Resource

The court rejected the argument that the TCPA's ban on prerecorded calls violated the First Amendment and upheld the constitutionality of the TCPA. The court held that Congress could regulate a portion of telemarketing calls without banning all of them because the ban on pre-recorded calls was not an attempt to favor a specific viewpoint.  

Created by Laura Biber on March 23, 2016 0 2546

Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 569 F.3d. 946 (9th Cir. 2009)
Link to Supporting Resource

The court held that a text message is a call within the definition of the TCPA.

Created by Laura Biber on March 23, 2016 0 2544

STATUTES, RULES, REGULATIONS (4) SHOW ALL ADD STATUTES

Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (47 U.S.C. § 227)
Link to Supporting Resource

This statute contains the text of the 1991 Act. § 227(c)(2) allows for the FCC to create a "Do Not Call List."

Created by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 2573

FCC Order Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
Link to Supporting Resource

This order was adopted on June 18, 2015 and updated previous FCC orders passed under TCPA.

Created by Laura Biber on March 22, 2016 0 2566
Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries
Link to Supporting Resource

This article outlines the regulations surrounding do not call lists. It also discusses who must comply with the lists, the roles of the FTC and FCC, and enforcement and penalties associated with the do not call list. 

Created by Laura Biber on March 23, 2016 0 2538

A TCPA for the 21st Century: Why TCPA Lawsuits are on the Rise and What the FCC Should Do About It
Link to Supporting Resource

This article argues that the TCPA, passed 25 years ago, should be updated to reflect the reality of modern technology. They argue that in order to reduce the number or frivolous lawsuits, the FCC should clarify that modern dialing technologies are not "automatic telephone dialing systems" under the TCPA unless they possess the ability to "store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator to dial such numbers." 

Created by Laura Biber on April 24, 2016 0 2546