This article describes the various rules and regulations in the United States that govern compliance for sending text or SMS messages.

Sean Griffith avatar
Written by Sean Griffith
Updated over a week ago

Regulatory compliance is important to us and to our clients.

But what is compliance?

Compliance means understanding and following the rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, and restrictions established by government and industry that apply to SMS marketing and communications service providers (like SimpleTexting) and their customers.

Many of these laws—such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the United States, and the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) and the Personal Information and Protection Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada—are designed to protect consumers’ privacy and personal data.

In the U.S., they are often enacted and enforced by federal agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Moreover, some industries (such as banking/finance, real estate, education, and healthcare, for example) have additional regulatory requirements and guidelines that also apply to SMS marketing and communications.

These include (but are not limited to) The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Fair Housing Act.

Some compliance issues, however, are only applicable to SMS marketing and communications.

Thankfully, industry and trade organizations like the CTIA and the Mobile Marketing Association play an important and influential role in the development, implementation, and deployment of best practices and compliance benchmarks for SMS marketing and communications.

It’s also important to know that mobile service providers are entitled to develop and enforce their own restrictions concerning “prohibited content” at any time.

In mid-2016, for example, one of the largest mobile service providers in the U.S. announced that it would no longer deliver SMS marketing and communications messages containing commercial content about auto loans, mortgages, student loans, debt consolidation, credit repair, tax relief programs, or investment opportunities in an effort to reduce spam.

💡SimpleTexting Tip: We want you to focus on creating great campaigns, not worrying about laws and regulations. Find out how we make complying with the regulations surrounding text marketing easy.

If regulatory compliance leaves you feeling confused and overwhelmed, we’re here to help.

While we cannot offer legal advice (nor should our resources be interpreted as or substituted for legal counsel), we are pleased to provide a library of resources designed to help novices and experts alike.

If and/or when there are significant changes to regulatory compliance issues that affect SMS marketing and communications, we’ll let you know via email or on our blog.

Finally, compliance requirements are different in the U.S. and Canada … so be sure to review the appropriate resource(s) that apply to your account.

If you still have questions, drop us a line at [email protected] or consult with your organization’s compliance team for further guidance. Or, take a read through our Complete Guide To SMS Compliance

Further Compliance Reading

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