January 29, 2023

Facebook sued over texts to recycled cell numbers

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Facebook's campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA.  Photo: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto.com.

Facebook’s campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA. Photo: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto.com.

By Ross Todd, From The Recorder

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc. on Tuesday was hit with a class action claiming the company sends spam text messages to people who get assigned cellphone numbers that used to belong to Facebook users.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by lawyers at privacy specialty firm Edelson P.C., highlights the headaches created for online communication services like Facebook when cellular carriers recycle previously used phone numbers.
The suit claims that when a Facebook user deactivates a phone number and it gets reassigned, the company continues to send automated text messages without the new owner’s consent. The suit claims that the unwanted messages violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which carries damages of $500 per violation, a number which can be tripled in cases of willful violations.
“Despite knowing that its text messages violate the TCPA, [Facebook] continues to send thousands of text messages to recycled numbers without the text recipients’ consent,” wrote Edelson’s Todd Logan in Tuesday’s 17-page class action complaint. “Facebook’s ongoing text messaging is hardly surprising given that each text message sent by Facebook has the potential to directly increase its advertising revenues,” he wrote.
Consumer-facing technology companies have become big targets for TCPA litigation. Earlier this month, plaintiffs lawyers with the Kazerouni Law Group sued PayPal Inc. for alleged TCPA violations. Lawyers for a Florida woman who sued Facebook in late 2015 over unwanted texts informed the court April 5 that they have reached a settlement. Facebook is represented in that case by Kirkland & Ellis.
The Edelson suit seeks to certify a class of cellphone users who received text messages from Facebook without consent and a separate class of people who made an express attempt to get Facebook to stop sending the texts that was ignored. The lawsuit asks that Facebook be barred from any future telemarketing until it establishes an internal “do not call” list as required under the TCPA.
In a phone interview Wednesday, Edelson partner Christopher Dore said the suit’s name plaintiff, Christine Holt of Washington, D.C., made multiple attempts to stop a “barrage” of text messages from Facebook.
“This is something that is a known issue. There are known solutions,” Dore said.
A Facebook spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.
IMAGE: Facebook’s campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA.
For more on this story go to: http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202756161975/Facebook-Sued-Over-Texts-to-Recycled-Cell-Numbers#ixzz47ExhHyUD

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