Autodialer debate moves to Supreme Court with new case

July 9, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday joined the debate over what qualifies as an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), agreeing to hear Facebook Inc. v. Duguid. According to the order issued today, the court will decide “whether the definition of ATDS in the TCPA encompasses any device that can ‘store’ and ‘automatically dial’ telephone numbers, even if the device does not ‘us[e] a random or sequential number generator.’”

CUNA and leagues have continued to call for clarity from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since its 2015 TCPA ruling, which has led to uncertainty over credit unions being able to contact members with important account information without being exposed to legal action.

When credit unions are discouraged from contacting their members, consumers may not be receiving important information about their accounts. The FCC needs to act on the TCPA issues and clarify that informational communications from credit unions should not be subject to TCPA requirements. Overly burdensome restrictions on wireless calls and text messages prohibit credit unions from contacting their member owners – even though that’s what members want and expect.

The Court is expected to hear this case in its next term which begins in October.