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Facebook wins SCOTUS robocalling case

Facebook phone call

The Supreme Court unanimously voted in favor of Facebook in a case that accused the company of violating the country's decades-old robocalling laws with security-alert texts.

Image: Protocol

The Supreme Court unanimously voted in favor of Facebook Thursday in a case that accused the company of violating the country's decades-old robocalling laws with security-alert texts.


The case was brought by Noah Duguid, a man whom Facebook mistakenly sent automated texts despite his not having a Facebook account. Duguid argued that the texts violated the Telephone and Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which governs calls made with an automated telephone dialing system. Facebook argued that it doesn't use such systems for its text messages, and the nine justices of the Supreme Court agreed.

"We hold that a necessary feature of an autodialer under [the TCPA] is the capacity to use a random or sequential number generator to either store or produce phone numbers to be called," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the opinion.

While the decision was an obvious victory for Facebook, some privacy experts were critical of the outcome. "Welp hope you all like getting robocalls," tweeted Alan Butler, interim executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, "because the Supreme Court just gutted the law that limits them."

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