Cell Phones

News & Analysis as of

FCC Releases Eagerly Anticipated Lifeline Order

Four weeks after voting 3-2 along party lines to modernize the Lifeline program; the FCC has finally released the text of the Order. The new Lifeline rules: Provide a mechanism for Lifeline subsidies to support broadband...more

Privacy Tip #31 – Landlines still a safe way to communicate but telephone companies want to drop them

I am pretty up to date on data privacy and security and technology, but the 60 Minutes episode this past Sunday night floored even me. If you didn’t see it, it is worth streaming. Basically, 60 Minutes showed Karsten...more

TCPA Exemption for Collection of Federal Debts Applies Retroactively, CA Federal Court Rules

The new Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) exemption for calls made to cellular numbers to collect debts owed to or guaranteed by the United States applies retroactively to calls made before the exemption's effective...more

Florida District Court Holds Calling System Sufficiently Configured to Avoid TCPA Liability

As lawsuits asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”), continue to rise in the wake of the consumer-friendly Declaratory Ruling and Order issued by the Federal Communications...more

FTC Highlights FDCPA Risks for Debt Collectors Using Social Media, Texts

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published a reminder to debt collectors of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) compliance risks that are created by the use of social media or text messages in connection...more

Federal Court Issues $1 Million Contempt Award for Repeated Cell Phone Unlocking Misconduct

On March 18, United States District Judge Ursula Ungaro of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an order against a Hong Kong-based company that was improperly distributing prohibited...more

Interagency Guidance: CIP Requirements Apply to Certain Prepaid Cards

On March 21, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the U.S. Department of...more

The People Have Spoken, Will the FCC Listen?

If you’ve been following the most recent round of Lifeline reform proceedings, you will have noticed two things: The overwhelming majority of Lifeline stakeholders agree that Lifeline support should cover broadband service;...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - March 2016

Are your cell phone policies as outdated as your original iPhone? Cell phones have become common place in today’s workplace and employers must consider the legal risks they pose. Thus, if you haven’t revisited your policies...more

Contractors: Do You Have a Cell Phone Policy? Is It Time for an Upgrade?

Smart phones and tablets are now commonplace on the construction job site.  Are your cell phone policies as outdated as the original the flip phones that you issued to your employees? Do you even have a cell phone policy?...more

Burr Alert: Is it Time to "Upgrade" your Cell Phone Policies?

Are your cell phone policies as outdated as your original iPhone? Cell phones have become common place in today’s workplace and employers must consider the legal risks they pose. Thus, if you haven’t revisited your policies...more

Graceful exits

No one likes layoffs. The person getting fired may be depressed and fearful about his or her job loss, and the person doing the firing usually feels rotten about being the bearer of bad news. In a layoff situation, an exit...more

Creditor Can Obtain TCPA "Prior Express Consent" Through Intermediary, Sixth Circuit Rules

A creditor that received a consumer's cell phone number through an intermediary had the consumer's ''prior express consent'' under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to receive calls from a debt collector, the U.S....more

Voicemail Messages on Debtor's Phone Did Not Violate FDCPA, Federal Court Rules

A debt collector did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by leaving a voicemail message on a cell phone shared by the debtor with her boyfriend because it was not reasonably foreseeable that he would...more

State AGs Urge Senate to Pass Bill Banning Debt Collection Robocalls

On February 10, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, along with 23 other state attorneys general, wrote to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Committee)...more

Advertising Law - February 2016 #2

FTC's Brill to Advertisers: Enhance Consumer Notice, Control - Exhorting advertisers to provide consumers with greater notice and control—particularly with regard to native advertising and cross-device...more

Ontario Court Finds Cellphone Tower “Metadata” is Private

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Court) recently ruled in R. v. Rogers Communications that broad cellphone “tower dump” production orders are unconstitutional as unreasonable seizures under section 8 of the Charter of...more

TracFone Withdraws Emergency Petition

As previously reported, in October 2014 TracFone filed an Emergency Petition with the FCC asking it to preempt state 911 fees on Lifeline subscribers who receive no-charge wireless Lifeline service. In 2015, it tweaked its...more

Cellphone Searches After Riley v. California: Will This Landmark Decision Transform Hallowed Fourth and Fifth Amendment...

SUMMARY - In a seminal decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie that police need a warrant justified by probable cause to search a cellphone seized incident to lawful...more

EIOPA reports on consumer protection in mobile phone insurance

EIOPA has published its report on consumer protection issues arising from the sale of mobile phone insurance (MPI). It analyses sales practices involved in this type of insurance product, providing coverage against loss or...more

FCA updates on MPI review

FCA has published the follow-up findings from its review of MPI. Following the original thematic review in 2013, FCA visited firms to see if they had implemented its recommendations. It found some firms had made improvements,...more

The “Going Dark” problem

“Going Dark” refers to law enforcement’s lack of technical ability to intercept and access communications and information. In response, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is using a law from the 1700s, the All Writs Act, which...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Grant of Summary Judgment to PayPal

In Roberts v. PayPal, Inc., No. 13-16304, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 18836 (9th Cir. Oct. 29, 2015) the Ninth Circuit recently upheld a grant of summary judgment to PayPal in Roberts v. PayPal, Inc., No. 12-0622, 2013 U.S. Dist....more

SC Court Says Sales Tax Inapplicable to Cellphone Insurance Premiums

During the last few years, many states have undertaken aggressive efforts to collect sales tax on amounts paid for service contracts a/k/a extended warranties, which in most states are deemed not to be insurance products. A...more

Game of Phones: Employer-Issued Smartphones and Employee Fifth Amendment Protections

A recent court decision holding that employees can claim the Fifth Amendment and refuse to unlock password-protected smartphones, even though the phones were issued by their employer for company business, demonstrates the...more

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