Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Sued For Sending Unauthorized Happy Birthday Text Messages

Facebook Inc NASDAQ:FB

Facebook Inc has been accused of breaking a federal law after a Florida man claimed that the social networking firm sent unauthorized text messages about friends’ birthdays. This person is seeking up to $1,500 per message sent on behalf of him, and other Facebook users.

Facebook Inc NASDAQ:FB

Violating Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Colin Brickman, the person who filed the class-action suit of Friday, claimed that Facebook birthday texts were in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This law imposes limits on telemarketing and automatic dialing systems. The lawsuit states that Facebook never sought permission for sending text messages to Brickman’s cell phone.

It, however, sent him a message that read, “Today is Jim Stewart’s birthday. Reply to post a wish on his Timeline or reply with 1 to post ‘Happy Birthday!’” Such birthday messages that Facebook sends to the users, who have given their phone number to the firm, are a form of marketing that is permissible only after securing written consent from the user, claimed Brickman.

The complaint says that Facebook Inc made use of an auto-dialer for sending bulk and impersonal text messages to the cell phones. Every prompt encourages user to engage on Facebook. Thousands of people have been receiving such messages from Facebook without prior express content. This lawsuit is meant for them all, said the complaint.

As of now, there has been no comment from Facebook on the lawsuit.

Facebook loses legal battle in France

In a separate case, a court in Paris ruled against Facebook that the US firm could be sued in France for removing the account of a French user, who posted a photo of a famous nude painting that belonged to 19th century. The ruling that Paris appeals court gave on Friday could set a legal precedent in France.

Facebook, which has more than 30 million regular users in the country, can approach the highest court in France for appeal. The plaintiff, in this case, is a 57-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover, whose Facebook account was suspended five years back, and he did not receive any prior notice from the firm about it. A French court will now be entitled to hear his case.

Facebook Inc removed the account after he posted a photo of Courbet’s 1866 painting The Origin of the World, which depicts female genitalia. He wants the social media firm to reactivate his account, and is demanding 20,000 euros ($31,247) in damages. As of now, the US firm has not given an explanation for the suspension of the account.

Facebook’s lawyers argue that only a specific court in California, where the firm has its headquarters, can hear such lawsuits. They added that since Facebook’s worldwide service is free, therefore, French consumer rights law cannot be applied to its users in France.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.

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