Attorney General Curtis Hill has written and filed an amicus brief in a United States Supreme Court case that will determine the scope of the protections of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The TCPA, enacted in 1991, generally prohibits the use of an autodialer to make a call to cell phone users. At issue in the case, Facebook v. Duguid, is whether autodialers include any device that can store and dial numbers automatically, or whether autodialers are limited to devices that use a random number generator.
In his amicus brief, Attorney General Hill and 37 other attorneys general side with the plaintiff, Noah Duguid, and argue that the TCPA applies to all devices that store and dial numbers automatically. The case, Attorney General Hill said, is key to states’ ability to protect residents from intrusive, frequent and unwanted calls, including calls that threaten and scam people out of their money.
“Protecting Hoosiers’ privacy from unwanted telemarketing calls is one of the main functions of my office, and it’s a problem about which we are contacted every single day,” Attorney General Hill said. “Should our ability to limit these phone calls be diminished, Hoosiers will become even more vulnerable to privacy invasions, not to mention scams and fraud. Protecting Hoosier consumers is among my top priorities, and a favorable ruling in this case will be key in my mission to continue carrying out this responsibility.”
To narrow the definition of autodialers, as Facebook argues should be done, would harm states’ ability to protect consumers under the TCPA and would limit collaboration among states and the federal government to take action against abusive robocallers.
Attorney General Hill encourages Hoosiers to sign up for the Indiana Do Not Call List by clicking here and entering your phone number. Doing this will eliminate most telemarketing calls, but it will not eliminate all telemarketing calls. Under Indiana law, certain groups may still contact you. They include insurance agents, real estate agents, newspapers and charities, so long as these callers use their own volunteers or employees.
If you receive a call which does not meet this criteria, you may file a complaint online or call 1-888-834-9969 to request a complaint form.