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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was enacted by Congress to reduce the nuisance and invasion of privacy caused by telemarketing and prerecorded calls. Congress ordered the FCC to make and clarify certain regulations. The TCPA imposes restrictions on the use of automatic telephone dialing systems, of artificial or prerecorded voice messages, and of telephone facsimile machines to send unsolicited advertisements. Specifically, the TCPA prohibits autodialed and prerecorded voice message calls to emergency lines, health care facilities or similar establishments, and numbers assigned to radio common carrier services or any service for which the called party is charged for the call. The TCPA also prohibits artificial or prerecorded voice message calls to residences made without prior express consent. Telephone facsimile machines may not transmit unsolicited advertisements. Those using telephone facsimile machines or transmitting artificial or prerecorded voice messages are subject to certain identification requirements. Finally, the TCPA requires that the Commission consider several methods to accommodate telephone subscribers who do not wish to receive unsolicited advertisements, including live voice solicitations. The statute also outlines various remedies for violations of the TCPA.

Inside The Telephone Consumer Protection Act