A TCPA for the 21st Century: Why TCPA Lawsuits Are On The Rise and What The FCC Should Do About It

    12 August 2013

    Litigation related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has increased exponentially over the past several years, by more than 60 percent by some estimates in 2012 alone. The law was written more than two decades ago for yesterday’s technology to prevent harassing and unwanted calls to consumers. Some plaintiff’s lawyers are taking advantage of the well-­‐intended but outdated TCPA statutory language to invent novel legal theories under which to sue companies that are communicating with consumers in ways that were not invented twenty years ago. The Federal Communications Commission must move quickly to clarify the meaning of “capacity” under the TCPA by taking into account today's technology. The cFCC should start by clarifying that modern dialing technologies are not “automatic telephone dialing systems” under the TCPA unless they possess the current ability “to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator [and] to dial such numbers.” Without regulatory changes frivolous lawsuits will continue and substantial resources will continue to be wasted, hurting consumers and businesses alike.