August 11, 2015
On July 31, Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) submitted reply papers to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, arguing that a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action lawsuit must be dismissed. Facebook’s reply papers argued that the automatic text message notifications sent by Facebook to its users are not sent using an automated telephone dialing system (“ATDS”), but instead require human intervention to be sent. Facebook also argued that its text message notifications, sent only when requested by the user to inform him or her about possible unauthorized access to the user’s account (and potential personal and financial information stored in such accounts), are sent for “emergency purposes” only and, thus, are exempted under the TCPA. Complicating the facts involved in this action further, the named plaintiff and class representative claims that he has never had a Facebook account. In its motion papers, Facebook speculated that the previous owner of the named plaintiff’s cellular telephone number must have registered for Facebook notifications.
What Constitutes an “ATDS” and “Emergency Call” Under the TCPA?