Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Debt-Collection Exception to Robocall Ban
July 9, 2019
The Ninth Circuit has again found that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act limits the ability of government debt collectors to make robocalls. The law 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. In Duguid v. Facebook, the Ninth Circuit found that the exception violated the First Amendment because it preference debt collectors over other companies that could might use robocall technology. The outcome is favorable for consumer privacy. 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 routinely files amicus briefs on consumer privacy issues, including several amicus briefs on the TCPA.