Just about everyone hates receiving calls from telemarketers, political campaigns, and debt collectors. In 1991, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act was put in place, with protections to help reduce the onslaught. In 2003, the National Do Not Call Registry was launched, aimed at letting consumers have some control over who calls their phone number.

Now, the Federal Communications Commission is considering a new question involving telecommunications and consumer privacy: whether the TCPA applies to ringless voice mail — a service that delivers messages directly to mobile phones’ voice mailboxes.

Because the technology is relatively new, there has not been a specific ruling about whether it is acceptable under the TCPA, leaving the companies that sell and use the services in legal limbo.