WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with Facebook in a lawsuit over its unwanted text notifications, rejecting a lawsuit alleging that the messages violated the federal ban on robocalls.
The verdict of the Supreme Court of the social media giant Menlo Park in California was unanimous.
The case was initiated by a person who received text messages from Facebook informing him that an attempt had been made to access his account from a new device or browser. The man, Noah Dugud, said he had never had a Facebook account and had never given his phone number to Facebook. When he could not stop the notices, he filed a lawsuit.
The lawsuit was related to the Law on Protection of Telephone Consumers, 1991. A law that prohibits the practice of abusive telemarketing. The law restricts calls made through the “automatic call system”, a device that can “store or generate telephone numbers for use using a random or sequential number generator” and then call that number.
The court question was whether the law included equipment that could store and dial telephone numbers, even if the equipment did not use a random or sequential number generator.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote to the court that she does not do that.
Facebook insisted that the lawsuit be rejected because Duguid did not claim that Facebook was sending messages that were created by chance. Facebook says it sends targeted, personalized text to numbers associated with specific accounts. The court of first instance agreed, but the appellate court overturned that decision.
Facebook said it was possible that Duguid’s mobile phone number belonged to a Facebook user who preferred to receive login notifications.
The case is Facebook v. Duguid, 19-511.