Today’s mobile and cloud-based technologies enable companies to easily access and interact with consumers more conveniently and efficiently than ever. But businesses must understand the legal risks before leveraging these technologies. An antiquated consumer protection statute, enacted in the infancy of the digital and wireless age, has been expanded by the FCC to govern today’s communications technologies, along with a patchwork of related federal and state privacy rules.
Congress enacted the TCPA to protect consumer privacy from businesses using the mass telemarketing methods of the late twentieth century, including “autodialers” that randomly or sequentially dial mass lists of phone numbers and deliver artificial or prerecorded messages without human intervention. The statute forbids the intrusive use of such indiscriminate automated technologies absent an applicable exception or the express consent of the receiving party, and it provides powerful tools to consumers, including the ability to sue for $500 to $1,500 for each call made in violation of the statute. The generous remedies available under the TCPA have attracted class action lawyers seeking to aggregate the claims of thousands of consumers, resulting in potential awards in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. State and federal agencies also enforce these rules by assessing fines and penalties.
As technology has evolved, the FCC has expanded the law’s reach to cover new communication channels, such as text and instant messaging, and new methods, such as software that dials from more targeted lists. Any business that intends to use automated technology to communicate with consumers, even when the intended communication is not telemarketing (including even informational messages to existing customers), must be careful to follow the TCPA’s requirements.
Our team helps businesses understand and comply with the TCPA, the FCC’s implementing rules, and the various state laws.
Our TCPA blog TCPA Info, News & Insights is an excellent resource to stay current on the TCPA and related laws. It gathers case decisions and commentary on TCPA developments.
Businesses operating in regulated industries that deliver products or services, including:
We also have experience with the following consumer privacy statutes and regulations:
Bloomberg Law | June 11, 2019
San Francisco Complex Commercial Disputes partner Karl Belgum wrote this contributed article explaining that businesses need to perform a self-assessment of the risks of automated customer contact, given the FCC’s failure to clarify the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Law360 | November 13, 2018
Boston Intellectual Property associate Troy Lieberman is quoted in this article looking at possible FCC changes to the definition of “autodialer” in regard to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Law360 | March 15, 2018
Boston IP litigation associate Troy Lieberman is quoted in this article explaining how the DC Circuit Court’s ruling on the FCC’s telemarketing rules will provide some relief for businesses.
Bloomberg BNA | August 17, 2017
In an article about a class action complaint against Kohl’s Department Stores, Boston IP litigation associate and TCPA team co-leader Troy Lieberman is quoted on opt-out mechanisms for consumers.
Bloomberg BNA | July 05, 2017
Manchester commercial litigation partner Dan Deane provided commentary in this article about the Federal Trade Commission’s recent comments in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s initiative to allow telephone providers to block illegal telemarketing robocalls.
Bloomberg BNA | June 04, 2017
Manchester commercial litigation partner Dan Deane is quoted in this article about a matter involving a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case against Colorado Technical University.
Bloomberg Law | May 07, 2017
Manchester commercial litigation partner Dan Deane and New York City commercial litigation associate Paul Williamson contributed this article addressing the ways in which the Trump administration may affect the TCPA.
Law360 | November 07, 2016
Albany commercial litigation associate Leah Bojnowski authored this column about how the Third Circuit recently held that a business’s commercial general liability insurance policy does not cover a TCPA settlement and the implications this has for business owners.
Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security | October 18, 2016
Boston Intellectual Property Litigation associate Troy Lieberman is quoted throughout this article about increased robocalls as Election Day approaches and the TCPA implications. Click here to read the full article.
Arbitration Alert | 03.20.19
Class Action Alert | 11.15.18
Originally recorded on June 12, 2018. | 06.14.18
NP Privacy Alert | 03.22.18
Class Action Alert | 03.16.18
03.08.19 | Rochester, NY
06.12.18 | Webinar
05.30.17 | Cambridge, MA
02.25.19 | Beverly Hills, CA
02.20.17 | Sunnyvale, CA
11.09.16 | Albany, NY
TCPA Info, News & Insights