Text Message Alerts By Facebook Don’t Violate Laws Against Unwanted Auto-Dialed Calls, Rules Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Facebook by saying that text message alerts sent by the social media giant don’t violate laws against unwanted robocalls. The top court also said that the definition of ‘robocalls’ set by the lower court is too broad and it should only be applicable to indiscriminate calls that are based on the system generated lists of numbers. In its ruling, the court said that a system that simply stores numbers and automatically calls should not be defined as illegal. The ruling came on the lawsuit that talked about text messages from Facebook notifying users about an attempted login.

The lawsuit was filed by Noah Duguid who had sued Facebook after he received several erroneous notifications from Facebook. Duguid alleged that he received unwanted messages in 2014 despite not having a Facebook account. The messages were alerting him that someone used an unknown browser to access the Facebook account linked with his phone number. Later, Duguid initiated a putative class action against the social media giant. He alleged that Facebook created a database where it store mobile phone numbers. He said it has a program to send automated text messages every time the associated account is accessed on unrecognised device. He alleged that the company violated the TCPA doing so.

The court clearly mentioned that equipment like the login notification system of Facebook is excluded from this definition. “This is because Facebook is not using such technology,” the court said. The social media giant too argued that as per the earlier decision of the court, even basic smartphone functions could have been defined as illegal autodialers. The Supreme Court agreed to this argument of Facebook. But there is no denying the fact that robocalls remain a huge problem in America. According to a report, Americans receive over 46 billion robocalls a year. Some fear that this decision will increase this number drastically.

 

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