Dear Valued CSF Partners,
We pride ourselves on providing our customers the most up-to-date and relevant information about regulation and best-practices in the mobile ecosystem, and today, we come bearing significant news in the messaging space.
On March 16th, 2018, the Washing D.C. Court of Appeals overruled two key points of the FCC Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) regarding the definition of “automatic telephone dialing systems” and safe harbor for calls made to numbers whose subscribers have changed.
On the first point, the Court overruled the FCC’s “ATDS” (Automatic Telephone Dialing System or Auto-Dialer) definition – a critical part of the Act, as only calls and texts sent using an ATDS are subject to the TCPA. The Court found the FCC’s ATDS definition was so broad that it considered all smart phones to be ATDS, meaning that all texts sent from smart phones without express prior written consent could be subject to TCPA litigation. Needless to say, the FCC will have to go “back to the drawing board” on their definition of ATDS. This effectively spikes all existing TCPA litigation until the FCC provides a new definition.
To the second point, the Court also overturned the FCC’s decision that dialing a “recycled” or otherwise “wrong number” more than one time is a TCPA violation. This is great news for customers who’ve been afraid of accidentally running into TCPA liability due to number changes and misdials. The FCC must rework their approach to this issue and is considering creating a recycled number database. Until that time, however, we’ll see no more lawsuits based on “wrong numbers.”
CSF sees this as a victory for the mobile ecosystem which will facilitate a lot of growth in the sector. We will monitor the situation and will continue to deliver outstanding products and services to you in lockstep with industry compliance.
You can check out the official ruling here: https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/D87F7922A514214085258252004FCE41/%24file/15-1211-1722606.pdf
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this notice is not legal advice. We encourage our customers to follow up with their own legal counsel to interpret the ruling and its effect on their unique businesses.
Your CSF Team