Robocalls: everyone receives one or two, but more likely dozens.  While some are helpful, most are annoying, and the worst can result in financial fraud.  While the FCC and Congress have been taking steps toward addressing the issue, state attorneys general (AGs) have taken the first major action to end unwanted robocalls.  On August 22,

On October 26, the Federal Communications Commission convened a second meeting of the Robocall Strike Force, which has been working for two months to develop solutions to the problem of illegal and unwanted robocalls. The Strike Force, led by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, was established at the behest of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and is composed of members from 33 companies in the telecommunications industry. Its charge was to develop innovative and comprehensive solutions to detect and prevent undesired calls to consumers.

Unwanted phone calls and text messages continue to be the number one complaint to the FCC by a wide margin, and the volume of such complaints continues steadily to rise, despite the Commission’s laborious efforts, through rulemakings and the issuance of declaratory rulings, to interpret the Telephone Consumer Act (TCPA), the statute giving the FCC authority over unwanted calls, in a more and more consumer-friendly fashion, and despite both a stepped-up enforcement at the FCC and a continuous deluge of private class action lawsuits.

Continue Reading FCC Robocall Strike Force Releases Its Report on Curbing Unwanted and Illegal Robocalls

In an instructive opinion on how intangible harms can cause injuries sufficient to confer standing on plaintiffs—and a rare example of the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest ruling on standing aiding plaintiffs—a West Virginia federal court ruled June 30 that computer-dialed telemarketing calls caused concrete, particularized privacy invasions such that plaintiff’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) putative class action claim could move forward.

The ruling in Mey v. Got Warranty, Inc., et al., No. 5:15-cv-00101 (N.D. W.Va. June 30, 2016) provides a contrast to the growing number of dismissals issued by courts across the country finding that, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), plaintiffs in various cases failed to allege concrete, particularized injuries sufficient for Article III standing.1   Because of this, it may provide guidance for plaintiffs—particularly in the area of technology-related statutes and data breaches, where standing is often an issue—on how to avoid summary dismissal of their claims.  Given the court’s detailed opinion, the import of the holding may extend well beyond the context of the case, in which plaintiff alleged she received numerous robocalls in violation of TCPA provisions barring autodialed, prerecorded messages and calls to those on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Continue Reading Federal Court Finds Intangible Harm Caused by Robocalls Sufficient for Post-Spokeo Standing in TCPA Claim Alleging Privacy Invasion

Automated dialing systems are back – temporarily – like never before. The new Budget Act provision makes “robocalls” to mobile phones a nonissue when used to collect money owed to the United States government. Following this release, Sen. Ed Markey spoke out and is reportedly preparing a “Hang Up Act” aimed at repealing this robocall

While telemarketers, debt collectors and others wait for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer technical questions such as “EXACTLY what is an autodialer,” the FCC has just made clear that the agency, at least, knows one when it sees one! In companion orders released on Friday (3/15/13), the FCC issued citations to two robocallers

This post was written by Amy S. Mushahwar.

Over the course of the past couple weeks, the Federal Communications Commission released a flurry of Public Notices, putting out for comment seven pending Requests for Declaratory Rulings, most relating to the use of auto-dialing technologies, and all relating to application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

This post was also written by Amy S. Mushahwar.

In last week’s all-day Robocall Summit at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), representatives of the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), and the Indiana Attorney General, repeatedly referenced their frustration in the face of a constantly multiplying number of consumer complaints regarding unwanted robocalls and