Appeals Court Eases Robocall Rules, And The Calls Keep Coming

By on April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

“Proving once again that technology moves much faster than the law,” writes attorney Grant S. Degginger in a Lexology post, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down significant parts of the FCC interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The court found that rules formulated in an age of quasi-mechanical auto-dialing systems were too broad to work in the era of smartphones, and could even be construed to render individuals culpable for making routine phone calls or sending texts without consent. The court also struck down the so-called “one-call safe harbor rule.” That rule applied in cases where a phone number, whose owner had allowed marketing calls, was reassigned, something that is said to happen often enough to create a problem for some companies. In the likely event the new owner is not a willing recipient, a party that pesters that number with robocalls can be targeted by the FCC. Per the one-call rule, companies were indulged just one unwanted marketing call before enforcement could in theory kick in, and that was deemed unreasonable by the court. Meanwhile, the epidemic of robo-marketing calls continues unabated. Its epicenter appears to be in the state of Florida, reports an article in Florida Today.

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