ABSTRACT

(Robo) Call Me Maybe: Robocalls to Wireless Phones Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act [May 29, 2018]   [open pdf - 426KB]

"Robocalls--calls placed using an automated dialing system or artificial or prerecorded voice--are on the rise. Advances in technology have made it cheaper and easier than ever to dial millions of consumers' numbers in infinitesimal periods of time. Furthermore, with more consumers using their wireless phones as their primary, or only, contact number, the invasiveness of robocalls has increased because callers may now reach consumers wherever they go. Enacted in 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as amended, is one of the primary federal statutes addressing robocalls to wireless phones. Other statutes, such as the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 1994, also address phone calls consumers may consider intrusive, but are outside the scope of this sidebar. The TCPA vests the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with authority to interpret and enforce the TCPA. In 2015, the FCC issued an order (2015 Order) interpreting certain aspects of the TCPA as they relate to robocalls. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit), in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, overturned certain FCC interpretations of the scope and application of the TCPA in the 2015 Order. This sidebar briefly describes the provisions of the TCPA relating to robocalls and the 2015 Order, analyzes the D.C. Circuit's decision, and addresses the FCC's reaction to the decision and potential considerations for Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10139
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2018-05-29
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations