In a recent blog post, Lindley Law discussed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Ameican Association of Political Consultants, Inc. v. FCC, which addressed First Amendment questions regarding the regulation of “robocalls” related to debt collection for government-backed loans. The United States Congress recently announced proposed legislation to combat the practice of robocalling: the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act (the “TRACED Act”).
The Proposed Legislation
The TRACED Act will combine and reconcile the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, which passed in the Senate in May, with the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which passed in the House of Representatives in July. The separate bills created new tools for the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”), as well as telephone service carriers, to police robocallers, creating increased fines and potential criminal liability for repeat and intentional offenders. The Senate bill contains provisions promoting call authentication and blocking technology and coalesces federal agencies with state attorneys generals to pursue bad actors, either civilly or criminally. The House bill allows consumers to opt in to call blocking services provided by telephone service carriers, enlarges the relevant statute of limitations in which to pursue those who violate the applicable regulations, and mandates the FCC to report to Congress regarding implementation and enforcement.
It is not yet clear how these two bills will be combined to shape the TRACED Act, but it appears to be a significant victory for consumer privacy.
If you have questions regarding a civil litigation matter, please call us at (704) 457-1010 to schedule a consultation. For more information regarding our firm, attorneys, and practice areas, please visit http://www.lindleylawoffice.com/.