The Supreme Court unanimously supported Facebook on Thursday, ruling that its phone notification system does not violate the law prohibiting “automatic phone dialing systems.”
The court pointed out that the restrictions in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) only apply to systems that use random or sequential number generators, and Facebook does not use them.
FACEBOOK said that before the hearing, the platform had made efforts to “distort” the 2020 election in the extreme elections to stop misinformation.
FOX Business asked Facebook for comment, but they did not immediately respond.
Noah Duguid received multiple text messages from Facebook informing him that someone was trying to log in to his account from an unknown browser, so he filed a lawsuit. Duguid claimed that he did not have a Facebook account and never gave the company his phone number, but he filed a lawsuit for failing to obtain a notice of the suspension. Duguid claimed that this practice caused him to receive unwanted text messages, which violated TCPA.
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The regulations in question prohibit the use of devices that can “use random or sequential number generators to store or generate the phone number to be called; and… dial such numbers.”
The main argument is based on grammar, especially whether the phrase “use random number or sequential number generator” applies to both “storage” and “generation”. According to Duguid, the phrase only describes the ability to generate phone numbers, which means that any system that can store numbers (without using a generator) and make calls is against the law.
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The Supreme Court supported Facebook and ruled that TCPA only prohibits systems that use random number or sequential number generators to store or generate them. When Facebook’s system stores and dials numbers, they are numbers given to them, not numbers generated by them.
“In summary, Congress’s definition of an automatic dialer requires that in all cases, whether it is storing or generating the number to be called, the equipment involved must use a random or sequential number generator,” Sotomayor wrote. “This definition does not include devices like Facebook’s login notification system, which does not use this technology.”
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The court rejected the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, stating that according to Duguid’s definition, the law would cover “almost all modern mobile phones that can store’phone numbers to call’ and’dial numbers.’ Such numbers.”