Appeals Court Strikes Down Debt Collector Exception to Robocall Ban

April 25, 2019

A federal appeals court ruled today that an amendment to the federal robocall ban is unconstitutional. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits automated calls to cell phones, except in emergencies or with the consent of the called party. But in 2015 Congress created an exception for calls made to collect debts guaranteed by the federal government. The court in AAPC v. FCC found that the debt-collection exemption "undercuts" the privacy protections in the law. So the court found the exception unconstitutional and struck it from the law. EPIC filed a "friend of the court" brief in Gallion v. Charter Communications, a similar case in the Ninth Circuit, arguing that "the TCPA prohibitions are needed now more than ever." EPIC has testified in support of the TCPA and has submitted extensive comments and amicus briefs on the consumer privacy law.

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