Chicago partner Brad Andreozzi was quoted in a Law360 article discussing both the need for automated calls and texts to disseminate timely health and safety information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the uptick in robocalls seeking to profit from fears in the face of the pandemic. According to Brad, “There are two strands running through the FCC’s regulatory strategy right now. One is to promote genuine emergency-purposes communications … and the other is to issue a warning shot across the bow to would-be scammers who are looking to exploit the pandemic.”
Regulators see a hardline stance against illegal robocalls as a way to protect consumers as well as to unburden phone and internet networks under emergency conditions. Already, both the FCC and telecom carriers are taking steps to ensure networks can hold up under the strain of increased online traffic from Americans working, learning and being entertained exclusively at home.
New York emphasized Monday that, thanks to a state law enacted in December, all unsolicited telemarketing calls are illegal during a state of emergency. “The intent of the statute is to make sure that, in a time when people are subject to a state of emergency and need to rely on their phones … that phone lines and telecom capacity are not overburdened when needed most,” Brad said.