Supreme Court to Decide Scope of Robocall Ban

July 9, 2020

Just days after upholding the federal robocall ban against a First Amendment challenge, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the scope of the ban in a new case, Duguid v. Facebook. Following the D.C. Circuit’s invalidation of the FCC’s definition of an “autodialer”—the technology companies use to automatically dial vast numbers of consumers— federal appeals courts have split on how to interpret the term. Telemarketers argue that an autodialer must generate random or sequential numbers, while consumers and consumer groups like EPIC maintain that the law bans systems that automatically call numbers from lists. In Gadelhak v. AT&T, EPIC argued that adopting the telemarketers’ autodialer definition “would undermine the law's effectiveness by inviting easy circumvention and rendering the restriction obsolete.” EPIC routinely files amicus briefs in cases on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

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