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Friday, August 18, 2017

ABA to FCC: Follow Congressional Intent in TCPA Applicability Ruling

In a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission, ABA urged the FCC not to limit the use of newer calling and fax technologies that are beyond the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The letter responds to a petition that raised the important issue of whether the FCC should interpret the TCPA to apply to technologies that were not in existence or common use when the TCPA was enacted in 1991. Under its prior leadership, the FCC interpreted the TCPA expansively to apply to such newer technologies not contemplated by Congress; the agency is expected to revisit those interpretations in the near future.

Because of the uncertainty over the TCPA’s applicability to newer technologies and the availability of significant statutory damages, “any company that seeks to use an advanced technology not contemplated by the TCPA’s drafters may be subjected to a class action lawsuit with a damage claim in the millions, if not billions, of dollars, with a high settlement value unrelated to actual culpability,” ABA noted. “The risk of draconian litigation costs has led financial institutions to limit 
 and, in certain instances, to eliminate  many pro-consumer communications.” 

Read the letter

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