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4 Essential Details of Text Message Privacy Laws

4 Essential Details of Text Message Privacy Laws

If you recently invested in business text messaging, there are a few things that you need to know about text message privacy laws. Without this information, your business could land in some serious legal trouble.

In fact, penalties for sending a text message that violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are $500 for any violation, and $1,500 if the violation is willful. In total, these penalties cost businesses millions of dollars annually.

That's enough money to sink even the most successful businesses.

What can you do to keep your business or organization out of the limelight? In this article, we'll cover the four big essentials when it comes to text message privacy laws.

4 Essential Details of Text Message Privacy Laws (And How to Remain TCPA Compliant)

The good news is that most businesses, organizations, and nonprofits run text marketing programs completely free of incident. Moreover, as an industry-leading text messaging provider, we've helped thousands of businesses to orchestrate effective and compliant text messaging programs.

Additionally, there are plenty of great text message marketing software features designed to make marketing effectiveness and compliance a breeze.

1. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1991 and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. In short, this legislation limits the use of "automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines."

These laws are regulated by three government organizations, including the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

According to the TCPA, which has been the FCC's leading regulation in electronic communications, businesses and organizations must obtain written consent from individuals before sending text messages.

Additionally, consider alerting recipients to the following:

  • The name of your business, organization, or nonprofit
  • The types of messages that you will be sending
  • The volume of text messages per month
  • Any fees that will be charged
  • How to opt out


CAN-SPAM Act forbids businesses and organizations from sending advertisements and promotions for a product or service without the recipient's consent. This legislation extends to any commercial message including, "any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service."

Here are a few CAN-SPAM Act requirements:

  • Don't use false or misleading header information
  • Don't use deceptive subject lines
  • Identify the message as an ad
  • Tell recipients where you are located
  • Tell recipients how to opt out
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

3. United Kingdom: Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations

The United Kingdom's Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations give consumers specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications. There are specific rules on the following:

  • Marketing calls, emails, texts, and faxes
  • Cooking (and similar technologies)
  • Keeping communications services secure
  • Customer privacy as regards to traffic and location data, itemized billing, line identification, and directory listings

In most cases, violators are subject to strict criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement, and audit. The business or organization may be subject to fines up to £500,000 which can be issued against the business or its directors.

4. European Union: Generate Data Protection Regulation

The European Union's Generate Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires businesses to protect the data and privacy of EU citizens during transactions that occur within EU member states. Additionally, GDPR regulates the export of personal data outside of the EU.

Key privacy and data protection requirements within GDPR include:

  • Consent of subjects for data processing
  • Anonymizing collected data
  • Data breach notifications
  • Safely handling the transfer of data across borders
  • Data protection officer appointment

Activate Compliant Text Message Marketing With EZ Texting

With so many different rules and regulations, activating compliant text message marketing may feel a bit overwhelming. However, partnering with a reputable text message marketing provider like us will help your business or organization to unlock significant value quickly. In fact, more businesses, organizations, and nonprofits choose our text marketing services than any other provider!

If you're still considering text message marketing, know that it is one of the most powerful direct marketing solutions available. In our recent report, we found:

  • 50% of consumers check their messages at least 7+ per hour
  • 65% of consumers check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up
  • Nearly 90% of consumers respond to a text message within 30 minutes
  • Text messaging has 6X the engagement of email

Photo: Adobe Stock/

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