FCC Sheds Light on TCPA Application to Certain Text Messages

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The Federal Communications Commission has released two decisions regarding the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to certain kinds of text messages.  In the Cargo Airline Order, the Commission decided to allow package delivery companies to alert wireless consumers about their packages, as long as consumers are not charged and may easily opt out of future messages if they wish.  In response to the GroupMe, Inc./Skype Communications S.A.R.L petition, the Commission released a Declaratory Ruling clarifying that “text-based social networks may send administrative texts confirming consumers’ interest in joining such groups without violating the TCPA because, when consumers give express consent to participate in the group, they are the types of expected and desired communications TCPA was not designed to prohibit, even when that consent is conveyed to the text-based social network by an intermediary.”  The Commission emphasized that social networks that rely on third party representations regarding consent remain liable for TCPA violations when a consumer’s consent was not obtained.

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