October 04, 2018

Following NAFCU comments, FCC seeks further input on TCPA

TCPAAfter NAFCU sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Tuesday urging it to clear up confusion surrounding the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) in light of mixed court decisions on the matter, the FCC is now requesting further comments on the subject. NAFCU will again reiterate credit unions' concerns with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to the FCC during this comment period, which is open until Oct. 17.

Specifically, the FCC is opening up this comment period because of the latest decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which expanded the definition of an autodialer, keeping it in line with the definition adopted by the FCC in a series of rulings from 2003 to 2015. While, in March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated the FCC's definition of autodialer and rejected the commission's interpretation of when a caller violates the TCPA by calling a reassigned number. Since then, the Second and Third Circuit Courts have adopted a narrower definition of the FCC's order.

NAFCU has called for the FCC to take a narrower approach to defining an ATDS that only includes equipment currently capable of dialing numbers without human intervention.

In its letter, NAFCU noted that those credit unions in the Ninth Circuit "are now even more uncertain as to what constitutes an autodialer and whether their lawful and legitimate communications with members may expose them to TCPA liability."

NAFCU encourages credit unions to also comment during this time. A recent update on this issue can be read in the NAFCU Compliance Blog.