Michael A. Thurman is a partner in Loeb and Loeb’s Los Angeles office and co-head of the firm’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force.
We have recently observed a dramatic uptick in California consumer class actions alleging that businesses have illegally recorded telephone conversations between consumers and customer service, telemarketing and/or collections representatives. Many of these new actions are based on a lesser-known provision of the California Penal Code, involving calls made to or from consumers using cellular telephones. Several of the first cases addressing these claims have held that the traditional requirement that the plaintiff have a reasonable expectation that the conversation will be kept private between the parties does not apply to cell phone calls that are recorded without disclosure.
Yesterday’s Senate confirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could have immediate consequences for the CFPB’s Enforcement Division and for businesses that have been accused of violating federal consumer protection laws.