In a recent case, the Supreme Court provided a decision that narrows the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In this case, Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, the justices essentially stated that application of the TCPA should not extend beyond the exact language of the law. That means it only applied to automatic telephone dialing systems as defined within the TCPA.
The ruling is a big win for businesses and leaves consumer advocate groups voicing concern that telemarketers will begin calling with renewed vigor. Just days after the decision, U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo released a press statement stating she and Senator Edward J. Markey denounced the Court’s stand and stated they were “opening the floodgates to untold numbers of new robocalls.” In response, she announced that the two would soon announce new legislation to “fix the Court’s error” and amend the TCPA.
The announcement is significant, as Sen. Markey was one of the original authors of the TCPA. Whether or not the two will be able to put together a proposal that receives the support needed to move forward and become law remains to be seen. We will provide updates on this movement as they become available.
Although the ruling from the court does appear to ease some of the restrictions imposed by courts in previous cases, it is important to note that there are other federal and state laws that put limitations on the ability of businesses to contact potential, current and past clients. As such, businesses who decide to move forward with attempts to reach out to clients are wise to do so carefully.