ACA Provides Analysis of Ruling on P2P Alliance Petition for Clarification

In 2018, the P2P Alliance, a coalition of providers and users of peer-to-peer text messaging, asked for clarity on whether its messaging platform is subject to the TCPA’s restrictions on calls to wireless numbers.

7/9/2020 12:00 PM

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ACA Provides Analysis of Ruling on P2P Alliance Petition for Clarification

On June 25, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) released a Declaratory Ruling seeking to clarify when peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging services may be deemed “automatic telephone dialing systems” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Notably, for ACA members this was a Bureau level ruling, not a ruling from Chairman Ajit Pai’s Office, so may carry less weight for creating any new precedent.

The Bureau described P2P messaging as technology that enables two-way texting and requires a person to manually send each text message one at a time.  P2P messaging may also allow senders to send a message from a prepared script, to modify the script before sending the text, or to draft their own unique message.  

In the Declaratory Ruling, the Bureau made the following clarifications: 

  • In general, a P2P texting platform would likely not be an autodialer to the extent it “is not capable of making calls or sending texts without a person actively and affirmatively manually dialing each number.”
  • Despite this general clarification, the FCC did not rule on whether any particular P2P texting platform was an autodialer because that analysis depends on the specific technological features of each platform.
  • The Bureau stated that a calling/texting platform is not necessarily an autodialer just because it makes a large volume of calls or texts.
  • It also noted that whether a platform is an autodialer turns on its capacity to dial random or sequential telephone numbers “without human intervention.”
  • Even when a party uses an autodialer to send a message, it can still protect against TCPA liability by obtaining the recipient’s prior express consent.

To read a full analysis from Mark Brennan & Arpan Sura, Hogan Lovells US LLP click here.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

ACA Provides Analysis of Ruling on P2P Alliance Petition for Clarification

On June 25, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) released a Declaratory Ruling seeking to clarify when peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging services may be deemed “automatic telephone dialing systems” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Notably, for ACA members this was a Bureau level ruling, not a ruling from Chairman Ajit Pai’s Office, so may carry less weight for creating any new precedent.

The Bureau described P2P messaging as technology that enables two-way texting and requires a person to manually send each text message one at a time.  P2P messaging may also allow senders to send a message from a prepared script, to modify the script before sending the text, or to draft their own unique message.  

In the Declaratory Ruling, the Bureau made the following clarifications: 

  • In general, a P2P texting platform would likely not be an autodialer to the extent it “is not capable of making calls or sending texts without a person actively and affirmatively manually dialing each number.”
  • Despite this general clarification, the FCC did not rule on whether any particular P2P texting platform was an autodialer because that analysis depends on the specific technological features of each platform.
  • The Bureau stated that a calling/texting platform is not necessarily an autodialer just because it makes a large volume of calls or texts.
  • It also noted that whether a platform is an autodialer turns on its capacity to dial random or sequential telephone numbers “without human intervention.”
  • Even when a party uses an autodialer to send a message, it can still protect against TCPA liability by obtaining the recipient’s prior express consent.

To read a full analysis from Mark Brennan & Arpan Sura, Hogan Lovells US LLP click here.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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