Thursday, February 22, 2024

FCC Clarifies Categorical Written Consent Requirement for Exempt Callers underneath TCPA and TRACED Act

On December 27, 2022, the Federal Communications Fee (FCC) launched an Order on Reconsideration and Declaratory Ruling clarifying the categorical consent necessities for calls positioned to residential landlines underneath the Phone Client Safety Act (TCPA) and the Phone Robocall Abuse Felony Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act).

First, slightly background: The TCPA restricts a caller’s capability to put phone calls to a residential landline utilizing synthetic or prerecorded voice messages with out the prior categorical consent of the known as get together, except exempted by statute or FCC rule or order.

The FCC has exempted from the TCPA’s prior categorical consent requirement sure calls made to residential landlines which might be:

  • Not made for industrial functions
  • Informational calls (industrial calls that don’t represent telemarketing)
  • Calls from tax-exempt nonprofit organizations

Subsequently in 2019, Congress enacted Part 8 of the TRACED Act directing the FCC to additional make clear these exemptions. In 2020, the FCC launched a Report and Order that restricted the variety of exempted calls made to residential strains to 3 synthetic or prerecorded voice calls inside any consecutive 30-day interval in the event that they fall underneath the three above-listed exemptions. The FCC required {that a} caller get hold of prior categorical consent to put greater than the three permitted calls.

In response to this flurry of piecemeal regulation, business events, shopper organizations, and people filed petitions for reconsideration, contending that the FCC’s orders and rulings inadvertently created confusion relating to the applying of prior written consent necessities underneath the 2020 Report and Order.

Particularly, petitioners famous that the 2020 Report and Order may very well be interpreted to require callers to acquire prior written consent from residential landline holders to name greater than 3 times in a consecutive 30-day interval, even though a previous FCC ruling had exempted such calls from the prior written consent requirement. The petitioners requested that the FCC get rid of the brand new consent requirement fully or make clear that both oral or written consent was acceptable.

The petitioning course of finally paid off. On reconsideration, the FCC granted sure of the petitioners’ requests, confirming that exempted callers might get hold of both oral or written consent to exceed the numerical limits on synthetic or prerecorded calls to each residential strains and wi-fi telephone numbers. The FCC denied petitioners’ different requests, which included eliminating the numerical limits on exempted calls fully.

The amended rule will take impact six months after publication within the Federal Register.

The authors thank Jay V. Prapaisilp, a regulation clerk in Venable’s Washington, DC workplace, for his help in writing this text.

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