As we previously discussed here, the House of Representatives is considering a bill to amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The bill, known as the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 (H.R. 3035), has bipartisan and industry support but also has drawn opposition from some consumer groups and state attorneys general.
The merits of the bill were debated at a November 4 hearing. Witnesses from the financial services, cargo transport, and wireless carrier industries testified that the bill is needed so that they can harness technology to more efficiently deliver information such as package notifications, fraud alerts, and flight changes to consumers’ cellphones without the threat of unnecessary litigation. A consumer advocacy group expressed concern that the amendments could subject consumers to certain types of calls on their mobile phones even if the consumers asked not to be called. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller criticized H.R. 3035’s preemption provision, testifying that the bill would hinder enforcement of state consumer protection laws.
On Wednesday, 54 state and territorial attorneys general issued a letter urging Congress to reject the bill. The letter criticized certain provisions in the bill, such as the state preemption provision, and called for greater — rather than fewer — restrictions for calls to mobile phones.