FCC Imposes Biggest Fine Yet for Robotic Calls in Violation of TCPA | Robinson + Cole Data Privacy + Security Insider
This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed its highest financial sanction against the group of lobbyists and political consultants, John M. Burkman, Jacob Alexander Wohl and JM Burkman & Associates LLC (the group), for allegedly made over 1,000 automated calls to voters without obtaining the prior express consent required by the Consumer Protection Act by Telephone (TCPA). The FCC has suggested a penalty of $ 5,134,500 for these calls.
The FCC was first notified of these robocalls in September 2020. According to the FCC, the Group made these calls in August and September last year explaining to voters that if they vote by mail, their “ personal information will be part of a public database. which will be used by law enforcement agencies to locate old warrants and will be used by credit card companies to collect unpaid debts. The FCC also said the messages identified Burkman and Wohl by name and mentioned Burkman’s personal cell phone number as the caller on the recipients’ Caller ID.
In 2019, the TCPA was amended by Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Dissuasion (TRACED) to not require the FCC to notify robocallers before violations can count towards a proposed fine. The action against this group is the first that the FCC has brought against an entity under this amendment.
The FCC has said that by making these pre-recorded calls to voters without the consent of the people receiving the call, it is a violation of the TCPA, regardless of the content of the calls. The Group is also faced with ongoing litigation relating to the same claims.