Tag Archives: FCC

FCC’s Declaratory Ruling on the TCPA’s “Emergency Purposes” Exception During COVID-19: Does it apply to Workplace Correspondence?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) generally prohibits the use of automated dialing equipment or prerecorded voice messages to make calls, send text messages, or send faxes absent prior consent of the called party. This includes calls or texts to cellular phone numbers as well as calls to residential lines. There are limited exceptions to … Continue Reading

Two More Significant Rulings for TCPA Litigation – Eleventh and Seventh Circuits Narrowly Interpret ATDS

In back-to-back decisions bound to have significant impact on Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action litigation, the Eleventh and Seventh Circuit Courts recently reached similar conclusions, narrowly holding that the TCPA’s definition of Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) only includes equipment that is capable of storing or producing numbers using a “random or sequential” number … Continue Reading

Combating Improper Robocalls: The TRACED Act Signed into Law

In the final days of 2019, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (“TRACED Act”) was signed into law to combat the increasing number of illegal robocall practices and other intentional violations of telemarketing laws. The TRACED Act, a bipartisan bill, first introduced in Congress in 2018, broadens FCC authority to levy Telephone … Continue Reading

FCC Rules Online Faxes Are TCPA Exempt

The Telephone Consumer Protect Act (“TCPA”) has seen lots of action in 2019, and in the final days of the year the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a significant ruling concluding that “online fax services” i.e. e-faxes are outside the scope of the TCPA. The FCC’s ruling effectively prevents the common “junk fax” class action … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Leaves Open the Issue of FCC Interpretation of TCPA, For Now

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in PDR Network LLC v. Carlton, addressing the issue of whether the Hobbs Act requires the district court to accept the 2006 Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Order 2006 (“the Order”), which provides the legal interpretation for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Unfortunately, the Court did not answer the question presented when … Continue Reading

The Circuit Split Over the Definition of ATDS Under the TCPA Continues

When the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991, most American consumers were using landline phones, and Congress could not begin to contemplate the evolution of the mobile phone. The TCPA defines Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (ATDS) as “equipment which has the capacity—(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Will Rule on FCC Interpretation of the TCPA

Late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic (No. 17-1705), addressing the issue of whether the Hobbs Act requires the district court to accept the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) legal interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In 1991, Congress passed the TCPA to … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Court Finally Rules on FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order

After two and a half years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a highly anticipated ruling reviewing the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or “Commission”) July 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order (“2015 Order”) in which the FCC issued interpretative guidance on several aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (”TCPA”). Over … Continue Reading

Will More States Follow New York’s Lead?

As you know if you regularly read this blog, the New York State DFS finally finalized its “first-in-the-nation” cybersecurity rules with an effective date of March 1, 2017. And their reach is quite large: DFS-supervised entities from insurers and banks to mortgage brokers and credit unions (and their third-party service providers) will have to begin … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Privacy Rules

Late last month, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new privacy rules for broadband Internet service providers (ISPs).  We first discussed this topic in March when the proposal was introduced by the FCC Chairman.  The rules are intended to protect the privacy of consumers and to provide customers with meaningful choice, greater transparency, and strong security … Continue Reading

FCC Chair Proposes New Broadband Rules

One year ago, in March 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) reclassified broadband Internet access service as a common carrier Telecommunications Service subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.  At that time, however, the FCC recognized that the then-current rules were not well suited to broadband privacy.  On March 10, 2016, the … Continue Reading

Internet of Things Bill Introduced

Recognizing the growing number of connected and interconnected devices, a bipartisan group of Senators recently introduced a bill which would convene a working group of Federal stakeholders to provide recommendations to Congress on how to appropriately plan for and encourage the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT). The Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of … Continue Reading

FCC Data Security Enforcement Continues

Demonstrating its continued commitment to data security enforcement, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced Cox Communications Inc., the nation’s third largest cable operator, agreed to pay $595,000 to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information.  The agreement ends the first data security enforcement action brought by the FCC against … Continue Reading

6 Best Practices For Avoiding TCPA Violations As The Scope Of Liability Under The Statute Swells

As we have previously discussed, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) recently issued a Declaratory Ruling (“Declaratory Ruling”) that, among other things, likely exposes companies to even greater liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”). The TCPA regulates communications, from companies to their consumers, that utilize an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”).  Under the … Continue Reading

FCC Settles First Data Security Action

UPDATE:  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reached a settlement with two telecom companies in connection with allegations the telecom companies violated the law regarding the privacy of phone customers’ personal information. As we previously reported and discussed, in October 2014 the FCC initiated its first data security case against TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, … Continue Reading

FCC Releases TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling

As anticipated, on July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Omnibus Declaratory Ruling which had previously been approved on June 18, 2015.  The Declaratory Ruling takes effect immediately. In short, the Declaratory Ruling provides numerous rulings including: Dialing equipment that simply has the capacity to store or … Continue Reading

FCC Strengthens Consumer Protections Under TCPA

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a package of declaratory ruling which is meant to provide clarity to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  This ruling was previously proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on May 27, 2015. According to the FCC, the declaratory ruling is meant to protect consumers against unwanted robocalls and … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Circulates Proposal to Address TCPA Violations

Last week, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated proposed declaratory rulings to provide clarity for consumers and businesses regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The proposal addresses two dozen petitions that sought clarity on how the FCC enforced the TCPA.  In addition to circulating his proposal to the other FCC commissioners for … Continue Reading

Top 15 for 2015 – Happy National Data Privacy Day

In honor of National Data Privacy Day, we provide the following “Top 15 for 2015.”  While the list is by no means exhaustive, it does provide some hot topics for businesses to consider in 2015. Inside Threats for Healthcare Providers and Business Associates.  While news reports of security risks often focus on hackings and breaches … Continue Reading

FCC Promises Action Against Those Who Fail to Safeguard

On December 19, 2014, the FCC published Chairman Thomas Wheeler‘s response to Senator Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) letter regarding the FCC’s recent proposed $10 million fine against two telecom companies. In the response, Chairman Wheeler reiterated the need for FCC action in this area and explained that consumers regularly entrust their most personal, confidential, and sensitive information … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Exemption Petition Re: Breach Notification

Many of us have likely received a notification from our bank or credit card company concerning suspected fraud or improper charges.  However, the legality of those messages is not always clear.  To this end, on October 14, 2014, the American Bankers Association (Association) filed a petition for exemption requesting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exempt … Continue Reading

California District Court – “Under TCPA Autodialer Must Generate Numbers”

One of the most complex issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is determining whether the technology utilized qualifies as an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) or “autodialer.”  The TCPA prohibits using an ATDS to make calls to cell phone numbers, absent prior consent of the called party.  An ATDS  is generally define as … Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies Solicited Fax Rule

Just before the tricks and treats began, the FCC issued an order about another tricky practice—junk faxes.  On October 30, 2014, FCC confirmed that all fax ads must contain an opt-out provision and comply with the rules set out in FCC’s 2006 Junk Fax Order.  There is a six-month window for companies to come into … Continue Reading
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