Well it has been a long time coming but Congress just released the compromise bill that appears highly likely to pass both chambers and will modify the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) to make it even more important.
The TCPA has long afforded a private right of action allowing consumers to recover up to $1,500.00 per call. The new bill, however, exalts the TCPA further, strengthening the FCC’s right to pursue penalties against violators and introduces new requirements around anti-spoofing authentication frameworks and require annual reports to Congress from the FCC regarding the scope of robocall complaints.
It also creates an interagency working group that will review whether additional TCPA enforcement by regulators should be authorized, including a grant of enforcement authority to the CFPB, the DOJ and other agencies.
The biggest news (to be thankful for!):
- The bill does not appear to include any new criminal enforcement provisions but it does require certain reporting to the DOJ regarding fraudulent calls for possible prosecution under existing laws;
- The bill does NOT modify the definition of ATDS and it does not appear to mandate any deadline for the FCC to rule on the pending TCPA Public Notice proceeding as the House bill would have done;
- The bill does NOT define the phrase “called party” as the original House bill would have done; and
- The bill does NOT deem contractual consent revocable, as the original House bill would have done.
We here at TCPAWorld.com will digest over the weekend and provide definitive guidance early next week. For now, however, you can find the text of the bill here: COMPROMISE TRACED ACT
Remember, you read about it first on TCPAWorld.com.