Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The first enactment of laws limiting unsolicited and automated telemarketing for both telephone and fax communications. Most notably the act creates a private right of action for those receiving unsolicited faxes, carrying a $500 fine per violation and any damages sustained because of the fax. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act also gives rule-making authority to the Federal Communications Commission, allowing it to make further regulations in this area. Among other provisions, the act prevents faxing without consent from the recipient (this requirement was amended by the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 to not include customers with an existing business relationship) and requires companies to create and honor internal do-not-call registries (in 2003 the National Registry was created by the Federal Trade Commission).

Link to text of law: Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Acronym: TCPA

Associated term(s): Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission