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AI Robocalls Deemed Illegal by FCC | TCPA Lawsuits

The Lyon Firm is reviewing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that bans AI robocalls, a decision that was passed unanimously amid widespread concerns over how AI-generated voices are increasingly utilized in a variety of scams. Contact our legal team to discuss new TCPA violations and to learn about your potential legal recourse.

The FCC says unequivocally that voices generated by artificial intelligence are illegal. The February 8th ruling was followed by a statement from FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel who explained, “Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters.” She sternly noted, “We’re putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice.”

Last year the Federal Trade Commission warned consumers robocall scams are increasing in frequency. And recent reports of AI robocalls may have expedited the FCC ruling.

A “vocal clone” robocall allegedly using an AI-generated voice depicting President Joe Biden was said to have discouraged voters from visiting the New Hampshire primary polls. The state’s attorney general said a Texas telemarketer is believed to have generated the call in question, and that third-party company transmitted it.

Such consumer privacy violations can now carry heavy penalties. In addition to potentially receiving regulatory fines of more than $23,000 per call, vocal cloners are now also open to civil action from individuals or a class of victims. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) states individual plaintiffs can recover as much as $1,500 in damages per unwanted call.

The advance of AI technology has been celebrated by many, but has also led to the availability of apps and tools that can generate realistic audio, video, and images. Consumer safety and privacy advocates have raised serious concerns over how AI can be abused by scammers and foreign agents. There are reports that certain scammers have already used AI software to create deepfake celebrity videos and sell fake medical benefit cards.

The FCC ruling deems the AI robocalls “artificial,” a violation of the 1991 federal telemarketing law that aimed to eliminate junk calls. The agency determined AI vocal clones are essentially more advanced iterations of the same old spam tactics, and thereby are subject to the same rule of law.

The decision makes it possible for the FCC to heavily fine violators and block the telephone companies that carry the calls. Perhaps most importantly for consumers, the ruling lets victims file lawsuits against these robocallers. The decision is effective immediately.

The Lyon Firm is reviewing all TCPA violations in all fifty states. Our class action privacy attorneys are investigating AI robocall lawsuits. We have filed numerous TCPA violation complaints on behalf of plaintiffs to end the constant invasions of privacy and to compensate victims for ongoing telemarketing harassment. Call now for a free and confidential consultation.

If companies are not in compliance with the new FCC directive with ample time passed to give them time to adjust their practices, they may be liable for significant damages. Plaintiffs can seek legal recourse and file a class action claim. The Lyon Firm has experience with filing TCPA lawsuits on behalf of consumers nationwide.