Facebook has been hit with another
lawsuit accusing it of sending people unwanted text messages.
In a complaint filed late last week, Colin Suttles of Austin, Texas alleges that Facebook sent him text messages with verification
codes that were actually intended for other people. He says he received at least 25 text messages in a four-year period, which were directed at people with names like “Hannah,”
“Abel,” and “Sandra.”
“Plaintiff does not know individuals by these names or why he is receiving codes that appear directed toward them,” he alleges.
He adds that he responded by texting “Stop” to Facebook, but that the messages continued.
Suttles alleges the text messages caused him “actual harm,” including
“aggravation, nuisance, and invasion of privacy,” in addition to the fees charged by his carrier.
His lawsuit alleges that Facebook violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act,
which prohibits companies from using auto-dialers to text people without their consent.
Facebook has been sued several other times for allegedly violating that law. The company argues in one of those prior cases that the law itself is unconstitutional, because it
exempts robo-texts aimed at collecting debts owed to the government.
The company elaborates in papers filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the law unconstitutionally “draws
distinctions on the basis of content, offering an exemption for calls placed ‘to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.'”
The Justice Department is siding against Facebook
in that battle. Last month, the DOJ urged the 9th Circuit to reject the social media company’s argument and uphold the constitutionality of the anti-robotexting law.