Publication | ThinkSet, issue 5
Until Congress Updates TCPA Law, Phones Will Keep Ringing
The exploding volume of robocalls isn’t just blowing up your cell phone—it’s filling up court dockets, creating a growing problem for marketers and debt collectors.
Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991, creating a national do-not-call list to protect Americans from harassing telemarketers, bill collectors and political campaigns. So what went wrong? The act didn’t anticipate the age of the mobile phone, though it was only a few years away—someone in Finland sent the first text message between texting-enabled phones in 1993, and Motorola introduced the StarTAC flip phone in 1996—rendering it incapable of regulating the world we live in today. Today, instead of curbing robocalls, the TCPA mainly just foments lawsuits and provides an illustration for how the breakneck pace of disruption can drive a well-intended law into near obsolescence in just a few years.