This blog post reports on two recent state telemarketing law developments that affect, among other things, marketing calls and text message transmissions.

Maryland Enacts New Law.  Earlier this month, on May 3rd, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed into law the Stop the Spam Calls Act of 2023, which will take effect on January 1, 2024.  As we previewed here, the new law is notable because it will impose the same proscriptive consent requirements on automated marketing calls and text messages that currently exist in Oklahoma.

Florida Scales Back its Law.  On May 25th, Florida’s governor signed into law H.B. 761, which took effect immediately to amend the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (“FTSA”) in the following key ways:

  • Autodialer Definition.  The new law narrowed the definition of an autodialer from an “automated system for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers” to an “automated system for the selection and dialing of telephone numbers” (emphasis added).  This aligns the definition in the FTSA with the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” in the TCPA, thus presumably bringing it within the ambit of the Supreme Court’s April 2020 opinion in Facebook v. Duguid.
  • “Signature” Definition.  The new law broadens the definition of “signature,” which is one of the requirements for obtaining “prior express written consent” under the FTSA, to include “an act that demonstrates express consent, including, but not limited to, checking a box indicating consent or responding affirmatively to receiving text messages, to an advertising campaign, or to an e-mail solicitation.”
  • Text Message Solicitation Safe Harbor.  Before a called party can bring an action for text message solicitations, the new law now requires that the called party first notify the telephone solicitor that the called party does not wish to receive text messages by replying “STOP” to the text message.  Within 15 days, the telephone solicitor must stop transmitting such text message solicitations, although an opt-out confirmation message may be sent.  Only if the telephone solicitor continues to transmit text message solicitations to the called party after the 15-day period concludes can the called party bring a legal action.
  • Application of Amendments to Pending Cases.  The changes set forth in the new law expressly apply to any suit filed on or after the new law’s effective date and to any putative class action not certified on or before that effective date.
Photo of Yaron Dori Yaron Dori

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the…

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the firm’s eight-person Management Committee.

Yaron’s practice advises clients on strategic planning, policy development, transactions, investigations and enforcement, and regulatory compliance.

Early in his career, Yaron advised telecommunications companies and investors on regulatory policy and frameworks that led to the development of broadband networks. When those networks became bidirectional and enabled companies to collect consumer data, he advised those companies on their data privacy and consumer protection obligations. Today, as new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being used to enhance the applications and services offered by such companies, he advises them on associated legal and regulatory obligations and risks. It is this varied background – which tracks the evolution of the technology industry – that enables Yaron to provide clients with a holistic, 360-degree view of technology policy, regulation, compliance, and enforcement.

Yaron represents clients before federal regulatory agencies—including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Commerce (DOC)—and the U.S. Congress in connection with a range of issues under the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and similar statutes. He also represents clients on state regulatory and enforcement matters, including those that pertain to telecommunications, data privacy, and consumer protection regulation. His deep experience in each of these areas enables him to advise clients on a wide range of technology regulations and key business issues in which these areas intersect.

With respect to technology and telecommunications matters, Yaron advises clients on a broad range of business, policy and consumer-facing issues, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things;
  • Broadband deployment and regulation;
  • IP-enabled applications, services and content;
  • Section 230 and digital safety considerations;
  • Equipment and device authorization procedures;
  • The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA);
  • Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) requirements;
  • The Cable Privacy Act
  • Net Neutrality; and
  • Local competition, universal service, and intercarrier compensation.

Yaron also has extensive experience in structuring transactions and securing regulatory approvals at both the federal and state levels for mergers, asset acquisitions and similar transactions involving large and small FCC and state communication licensees.

With respect to privacy and consumer protection matters, Yaron advises clients on a range of business, strategic, policy and compliance issues, including those that pertain to:

  • The FTC Act and related agency guidance and regulations;
  • State privacy laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act, the Colorado Privacy Act, the Connecticut Data Privacy Act, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, and the Utah Consumer Privacy Act;
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA);
  • Location-based services that use WiFi, beacons or similar technologies;
  • Digital advertising practices, including native advertising and endorsements and testimonials; and
  • The application of federal and state telemarketing, commercial fax, and other consumer protection laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), to voice, text, and video transmissions.

Yaron also has experience advising companies on congressional, FCC, FTC and state attorney general investigations into various consumer protection and communications matters, including those pertaining to social media influencers, digital disclosures, product discontinuance, and advertising claims.

Photo of Andrew Longhi Andrew Longhi

Andrew Longhi is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Andrew advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, commercial…

Andrew Longhi is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Andrew advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, commercial transactions involving personal information and cybersecurity risk, and responses to regulatory inquiries.

Andrew is Admitted to the Bar under DC App. R. 46-A (Emergency Examination Waiver); Practice Supervised by DC Bar members.