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US Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Facebook Over Unsolicited Text Messages | Voice Of America

WASHINGTON DC – The United States Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Facebook Inc. of violating a federal law against robotic calling. The judges, in a 9-0 decision written by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, sided with Facebook in arguing that the text messages sent by the social media platform did not violate a 1991 federal law called the Protection Act. Telefónica al Consumidor (TCPA). The case highlighted for judges the challenge of applying outdated laws to modern technologies. The ruling sparked calls on Congress to update the law, enacted three decades ago to curb telemarketing abuse by banning most unsolicited robocalls. “By reducing the scope of the TCPA, the court allows businesses to assault the public with an uninterrupted wave of unwanted calls and texts, throughout the day,” said Democratic Senator Edward Markey and Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, in a joint statement. The court ruled that Facebook’s actions – texting without consent – did not fit within the technical definition of the type of conduct prohibited by law, which was enacted before the rise of modern cell phone technology. Venezuela accuses Facebook of “media dictatorship” for blocking Maduro Facebook removed a video of Maduro that violated the company’s policy on false claims. The company declined to comment on the Venezuelan government’s comments. The lawsuit was filed in 2015 in California federal court by Montana resident Noah Duguid, who said Facebook sent him many automated text messages without his consent. The lawsuit accused Menlo Park, California-based Facebook of violating the TCPA’s restriction on the use of an automated telephone dialing system. Facebook said the security-related messages, which are triggered when users try to log into their accounts from a new device or Internet browser, were linked to users’ cell phone numbers. “As the court recognized, the provisions of the law were never intended to prohibit companies from sending specific security notifications, and the court’s decision will allow companies to continue working to keep their users’ accounts secure,” Facebook said. it’s a statement. “A disappointing ruling” Sergei Lemberg, Duguid’s attorney, said anyone could avoid legal liability by using technology like Facebook’s. “This is a disappointing decision for anyone who has a cell phone or values ​​their privacy,” Lemberg added. In this case, the lawsuit claimed that Facebook’s system for sending automated text messages was similar to a traditional automatic dialing system, known as an automatic dialer, used to make automated phone calls. “Duguid’s dispute is with Congress, which did not define an automatic dialer as malleably as it would have liked,” Sotomayor wrote in the ruling. Trump regulates by decree the legal responsibility of social networks Despite the measure, it remains to be seen if the White House can unilaterally implement a measure that contradicts current legislation. The president himself has already recognized that he may have to defend it in court, but has urged the governors to “regulate” these platforms. The law requires that the equipment used must use a “sequential or random number generator,” but the court concluded that Facebook’s system “does not use such technology,” Sotomayor added. Duguid said Facebook repeatedly sent account login notifications via text message to his cell phone, even though he was not a Facebook user and never had been. Despite numerous efforts, Duguid said he couldn’t stop Facebook from stopping messaging him. Facebook responded that Duguid was most likely assigned a phone number that was previously associated with a Facebook user who chose to receive the notifications. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, but in 2019, the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived it. The Ninth Circuit took a broad view of the law, saying that it prohibits devices that automatically dial not only randomly generated numbers, but also stored numbers that are not randomly generated. The National Association of Credit Unions said the decision “to strictly interpret automated dialers is a victory for the credit union industry.” “We have long fought for this clarity to ensure that credit unions can contact their members with urgent and important financial information without fear of violating the TCPA and facing frivolous lawsuits,” the association said in a statement.


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