Archives: Federal Communications Commission

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FCC to Consider Ruling on Carriers’ Use of Data Collected on Mobile Devices

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote this month on a declaratory ruling stating that existing rules governing telephone carriers’ use of subscribers’ personal information also apply to data collected on mobile devices. Existing regulations restrict telecommunications carriers’ ability to use or disclose Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) that a carrier obtains in the … Continue Reading

FCC Confirms That Sellers Can Be Liable for Telemarketer TCPA Violations

A seller who authorizes a third-party telemarketer to market the seller’s goods or services may be held vicariously liable if the telemarketer violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission held in a May 9 declaratory ruling. The FCC’s ruling interprets two subsections of the TCPA. The first subsection — 47 U.S.C. … Continue Reading

CPNI Certifications Due on March 1

As a reminder, telecommunications carriers must submit their annual certifications regarding customer proprietary network information (CPNI) by March 1.  CPNI is private customer information concerning telecommunications. Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) must certify annually to the FCC that they comply with their obligations to protect and limit disclosure of … Continue Reading

FCC Provides Consumer Tips On Mobile Privacy And Security

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Smartphone Security Checker, a tool designed to help consumers secure their smartphones against mobile security threats.  The tool provides consumers with tips that are customized for four different mobile operating systems.  Many of tips focus on security-related topics.  For instance, the tool recommends that consumers set a password … Continue Reading

FCC: Sending Opt-Out Confirmation Text Does Not Violate TCPA

The Federal Communications Commission has ruled that companies may send a one-time text message to confirm that a subscriber has opted out of receiving text messages without violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  In the FCC’s view, if a consumer has consented to receiving text messages and subsequently opts out, the consumer’s prior express … Continue Reading

FCC Sets Comment Cycles for Additional Petitions Seeking to Clarify TCPA Provisions

In follow up to our previous blog entry on the subject, comment deadlines were set for additional petitions seeking to clarify TCPA provisions and related FCC rules.  Comments on these Petitions are due on November 23, 2012, and reply comments are due on December 10, 2012. The Westfax Petition asks the FCC to clarify whether … Continue Reading

Telemarketing Recap: Recent Key Developments at the FCC, FTC and in the Courts

A number of key developments affecting telemarketing emerged over the past week: 1.  The distinction between informational and telemarketing calls was further defined.  The 9th Circuit held that calls intended to impart information about a customer rewards program could be construed as “dual purpose” calls subject to federal and state telemarketing restrictions.  See Chesbro v. … Continue Reading

Mobile Device Tracking Bill Introduced

A new bill introduced by Rep. Ed Markey, titled the Mobile Device Privacy Act, would require mobile device sellers, manufacturers, service providers, and app offerors to disclose to consumers the existence of any monitoring software.  Monitoring software is defined as “software that has the capability to monitor the usage of a mobile device or the … Continue Reading

FCC Mobile Privacy Notice Published — Comments Due July 13

As we reported, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently announced that it is seeking comments on the protection of data stored on mobile devices by wireless phone carriers. The FCC has noted that the comments it previously received on the issue five years ago are already “badly out of date.”  The Federal Register published the … Continue Reading

Federal Communications Commission Seeks Comments on Mobile Privacy

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a Public Notice seeking comments on the steps wireless phone carriers are taking to protect the privacy and data security of customer information that is stored on consumers’ mobile devices and on how existing laws apply to the carriers’ information practices.  Section 222 of the Communications Act and the FCC’s … Continue Reading

Members of Congress Examine Impact of Media and Marketing On Children

Earlier today, members of Congress and regulators gathered for a symposium on “The Impact of Media on the Health & Well-Being of Children.”   Participants included Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jon Leibowitz, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, and Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, as well as researchers … Continue Reading

Companies Struggle With Lack Of Clarity Around TCPA And Text Messaging

Last week, a district court declined to stay a lawsuit against Google Inc. and group-texting service Slide, Inc. alleging a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The court found that a related, ongoing proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission relating to the scope of the definitions of “consent” and “automatic telephone dialing system” … Continue Reading

FCC, Companies Announce Mobile Device Anti-Theft Database

Earlier this week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, together with major U.S. wireless carriers and chiefs of police, announced a plan to develop databases that will allow consumers whose mobile devices have been stolen to render the devices inoperable on mobile networks.  The database will be created over the next eighteen months.  Using the … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Telemarketing Restrictions

Today, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules that strengthen its restrictions on autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls.  The FCC billed the new rules as an effort to maintain consistency with the Federal Trade Commission’s telemarketing sales rule, which also governs telemarketing calls, and to give consumers control over the calls that they receive. Under … Continue Reading

Reps. Terry and Lee Introduce TCPA Reform Measure

Reps. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Ed Towns (D-NY) have introduced the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 (H.R. 3035).  H.R. 3035 would amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act — which is administered and enforced by the Federal Communications Commission but also authorizes private rights of action —  to clarify the scope of limitations under the … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules Implementing the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules implementing the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. Like the Act, the FCC’s rules require elementary and secondary schools that have applied for discounted Internet access services through the FCC’s E-rate program to certify that the school’s Internet safety policy provides for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior, including … Continue Reading

Two House Energy & Commerce Subcommittees Hold Hearing on Internet Privacy

Yesterday, two Subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and Communications and Technology) held a joint hearing entitled “Internet Privacy:  The Views of the FTC, the FCC, and NTIA” that featured testimony from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez, and NTIA Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling.  Topics discussed included … Continue Reading

House Energy & Commerce Committee To Hold Internet Privacy Hearing On Thursday

On Thursday, July 14, 2011 two Subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and Communications and Technology) will hold a joint hearing entitled “Internet Privacy:  The Views of the FTC, the FCC, and NTIA.”  The hearing, which is the first in a series of anticipated dialogues aimed at examining how … Continue Reading

House Energy & Commerce Committee Members Launching Review of Privacy Issues

As we previously discussed, the House Energy & Commerce Committee announced last month that it would be undertaking a comprehensive review of electronic privacy concerns.  That process will kick off on July 14, 2011 with a joint hearing by the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.  Regulators from the Federal … Continue Reading

FCC Drafting a Report on Location-Based Services

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking public comment on the use of location-based services in connection with a forthcoming staff report.  Comments are due to the FCC by July 8, 2011. The agency also is teaming up with the Federal Trade Commission to host an educational forum on June 28, 2011, to help consumers understand the … Continue Reading

Privacy Bills Begin Dropping in Congress; More to Follow

As expected, this year is shaping up to be a busy year on privacy.  As we noted in an earlier post, many Congressional members on both sides of the aisle are focusing on privacy issues.  We still expect Senator Kerry to introduce comprehensive privacy legislation in the next few weeks and we understand Senator Pryor … Continue Reading

Comcast/NBCU Commit To Limit Interactive Advertising in Children’s Programming

Earlier this week, Comcast — the largest cable operator in the U.S. — stated in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission that it would commit to limit interactive advertising in children’s programming as a condition of obtaining approval of its acquisition of NBC Universal.  Specifically, as long as they have control over the program’s advertising, Comcast and NBCU will not insert … Continue Reading

ABA Program on Marketing To Minors

Yesterday, the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education sponsored the program “Marketing to Minors: Traps for the Unwary in a Rapidly Evolving Legal Landscape.”  Representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Gannett provided an overview of the current rules for marketing to children, discussed the … Continue Reading

New Law Prohibits Caller ID “Spoofing”

Last week, President Obama signed into law the “Truth in Caller ID Act,” which prohibits the practice of providing false caller ID information in order to deceive the call recipient (better known as caller ID “spoofing”).  Specifically, the Act prohibits the use of “misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of … Continue Reading
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