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Does TCPA Law Apply Internationally?


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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed to protect the privacy of the average United States consumer. The TCPA prohibits spam calling, solicitous texting, and communication without prior express consent. But do these same rules apply to international communications?


Does TCPA Law Apply Internationally?

Let’s say that there is a U.S.-based company using SMS marketing outside the U.S., and a foreign company conducting an SMS marketing campaign within the U.S. So, what are the rules?

The companies in both of those cases need to be familiar with the laws of their nation and the target nation, but when it comes to TCPA compliance specifically, the recipient is what matters.

If your brand or company is trying to connect with American consumers via text messages or phone calls, you must be TCPA compliant. It does not matter where your brand is located, only the recipient matters.


Risks of TCPA Violations

This is true in all cases—there is no way to dodge TCPA compliance by hiring a foreign agency to conduct your campaign for you. Doing that will actually make your situation worse, because it can prove that you “willfully violated” TCPA guidelines by trying to circumvent them. That means that your legal fines could triple from $500 per message per person, to $1,500 per message per person. In a class-action suit, this can easily cost millions of dollars.

Remember, TCPA statutory fines are uncapped in the United States; there is no upper limit for how much you can be liable for. Unlike in Canada, where there is forgiveness and a cap of $10 million, a violating brand can be liable for a bankruptcy-inducing sum of money.


Maintaining TCPA Compliance

If you’re interested in learning more about text message marketing and the TCPA, check out our free TCPA Text Messaging Survival Guide. Or, talk to our team of trusted experts to guide you through the process and help you get your text message marketing campaigns running the right way from the start.

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