The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case with major implications for telephone privacy. The suit, ACA International v. FCC, was brought against the Federal Communications Commission by telemarketing companies and others challenging rules adopted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that prohibit automated calls made to cell phones without their consent. EPIC and six consumer privacy groups filed an amicus brief in the case, stressing the importance of privacy protections for cell phone users. EPIC also challenged a claim made by the telemarketers that "37 million" numbers were reassigned each year, making it difficult, the companies claimed, to comply with the privacy law. During the argument, one of the judges pressed the telemarketers' attorney on the point (audio), citing research in the EPIC amicus brief. EPIC frequently participates as amicus curiae in cases that raises novel privacy issues.
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