American Financial Services Association

AFSA, Joint Trades to Supreme Court: Allow Businesses to Contact Their Customers

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AFSA, Joint Trades to Supreme Court: Allow Businesses to Contact Their Customers

Today, the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) and a coalition of trade associations filed an amicus brief requesting that the Supreme Court clarify how businesses can communicate with their customers.

In the case, Facebook v. Duguid, the joint trades urge the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court’s decision that expanded the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) regulations pertaining to automatic telephone dialing systems (ATDS). In 1991, Congress passed the TCPA and included an ATDS provision, which made it illegal to call wireless numbers, but not landlines, using an ATDS. The provision’s goal was to prevent telemarketers from using equipment to dial numbers randomly and sequentially.

However, the ATDS provision was expanded in the case, Marks v. Crunch San Diego, to cover any dialing equipment that has the capacity to store numbers and dial them automatically. The unfortunate consequence of this overly broad decision is that it covers most modern calling devices (including all smart phones) and threatens callers who are making important, and often-time sensitive, calls to consumers with litigation.

In the brief, AFSA and the joint trades argue that the Marks decision violates the First Amendment by threatening liability for billions of legitimate calls from businesses to their customers.

September 15th, 2020 by