Legal Articles

FCC AI Regulations Outlaws Marketing Calls Without Prior Consent

Stay compliant with AI regulations. Learn about FCC rules on AI in marketing calls and updated prerequisites for AI call consent.

Table of Content

  1. Clarification of Legal Ambiguity on AI Regulations
  2. Intent and Implications of the Ruling
  3. Effective Date of AI Regulations
  4. FAQ’s

On February 8, 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously adopted a Declaratory Ruling that officially sets AI regulations decreeing that an AI-generated voice to be “artificial” as that term is used in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The Ruling was announced just a week after FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel released a statement proposing it, and three weeks after a coalition of 26 State Attorneys General sent a letter to the FCC emphasizing the potential harm AI could cause when used for telemarketing, urging the agency to swiftly adopt regulations to control the technology.

Clarification of Legal Ambiguity on AI Regulations

As detailed in prior articles, prior to the Ruling, AI-generated voice calls were in a legal limbo. Although section 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A) prohibits making calls "using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice" absent the prior express consent of the called party, whether “artificial voice” as used in the TCPA encompassed an AI-generated voice was uncertain. That is no longer the case.

Intent and Implications of the Ruling

The intent behind the Ruling, which takes effect immediately, is to curb the use of voice cloning technology for its ability to imitate the voices of a politicians, celebrities, or family members to perpetuate scams, and furthers the agency’s effort to establish partnerships with law enforcement agencies in states across the country to identify and eliminate illegal robocalls.

As stated by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, “Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters. We’re putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice.”

Effective Date of AI Regulations

Effective immediately, the Ruling places calls made using an AI-generated voice in the same category as prerecorded calls, making them illegal absent the prior express written consent of the called party. Of course, the Ruling overlooks the fact that there are countless legitimate reasons why a company might want to use an AI-generated voice to call an existing or potential customer. For example, AI promises to eliminate the risk of accidental TCPA violations by poorly trained human call center employees, but as is so often the case, the powers that be have decreed the potential harms of the technology outweigh its benefits.

FCC AI Regulations Outlaws Marketing Calls Without Prior Consent


  1. Can companies still use AI-generated voices for customer service or informational calls?Yes, companies can still utilize AI-generated voices for legitimate purposes such as customer service or informational calls. However, they must ensure compliance with FCC regulations, including obtaining prior express written consent from the called party for marketing-related calls.
  2. How will the FCC enforce this ruling against illegal AI-generated voice calls?
    The FCC has various enforcement mechanisms to address illegal AI-generated voice calls, including fines, penalties, and other regulatory actions against violators. Additionally, the FCC may collaborate with law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute individuals or organizations engaged in fraudulent activities.
  3. What steps can individuals take if they receive unsolicited AI-generated voice calls?Individuals who receive unsolicited AI-generated voice calls can take several steps to address the issue. They can report the calls to the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), register their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and use call-blocking technologies or services provided by their phone carriers to reduce unwanted calls.
  4. Will the FCC provide guidance or resources for businesses to ensure compliance with the new AI regulations in marketing calls?
    The FCC may offer guidance, resources, or educational materials to help businesses understand and comply with the new regulations regarding AI in marketing calls. The Blacklist Alliance offers comprehensive compliance courses as regulations develop and update.
  5. What is prior consent for?
    Prior consent refers to obtaining permission from the called party before initiating a call, particularly for marketing purposes. It typically involves explicit, written authorization from the recipient to receive communications, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and respecting individual privacy rights.