Consumer Protection & Privacy

Troutman Sanders LLP: Criminalization of Robocalls?

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D. N.Y.) has introduced a bill that would criminalize the act of knowingly initiating a commercial robocall without the prior express written consent of the recipient.

The bill, S. 1681, defines a “commercial robocall” as a telephone call made for the purpose soliciting a purchase, rental, enrollment or investment in goods or services using an “automatic telephone dialing system” or an artificial or prerecorded voice.

“Automatic telephone dialing system” has the meaning given in Sec. 227(a) of the Communications Act of 1934. “Prior exempt written consent” is defined in a manner similar to the TCPA.

Exempted are calls made for emergency purposes; made on behalf of a tax-exempt, non-profit organization; or that deliver a health care message on behalf of a “covered entity or business associate” as defined in 45 CFR 160.103.

Violators would be subject to fines of up to $20,000 per violation and imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Obviously, this is only a proposed legislation; we don’t know if there is an appetite in the U.S. legislature to pass this type of bill.  It is significant, however, there the criminalization of these types of violations is even being considered.

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Lederer or Christina Bost Seaton

About Troutman Sanders 

Troutman Sanders is an international law firm with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1897, the firm’s heritage of extensive experience, exceptional responsiveness and an unwavering commitment to service has garnered strong, long-standing relationships with clients across the globe. These clients range from multinational corporations to individual entrepreneurs, federal and state agencies to foreign governments, and non-profit organizations to businesses representing virtually every sector and industry. 

Troutman Sanders lawyers provide counsel and advice in practically every aspect of civil and commercial law related to the firm’s core practice areas: Corporate, Finance, Litigation, Public Law and Real Estate. With more than 50 practice groups focused on specific aspects of these areas, the firm is defined by its considerable knowledge base and proactive approach to addressing legal and business challenges.

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