Facebook, Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al.

AuthorLambert, Sarah

141 S. CT. 1163 (2021)

In Facebook v. Duguid, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Ninth Circuit, holding that Facebook's notification system does not use the necessary "random or sequential number generator" technology to make The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 ("TCPA") applicable. (1) Petitioner Duguid's initial complaint alleged that Facebook's elective security measure giving users the option to receive text messages as a form of security alert violated the TCPA. (2) Facebook argued that their system did not fall under the TCPA since they did not use a random or sequential number generator. (3) The Court relied on methods of statutory interpretation to determine that a system must have a random or sequential number generator to be present to constitute a violation of the TCPA. (4)


    The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 forbids abusive telemarketing practices, particularly by placing restrictions on communications made using an "automatic telephone dialing system." (5) Those who use an automatic telephone dialing system are identified as autodialers. (6) The TCPA further defines an "automatic telephone dialing system as "a piece of equipment with the capacity both 'to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator,' and to dial those numbers." (7) Here, petitioner Facebook, Inc. uses an elective security measure that gives users of their social media platform the option to receive text messages when there is a login attempt from a new device or browser. (8) Noah Duguid, the respondent, received such a text, which alerted him to a login in attempt on an account he had not created. (9) Duguid engaged in multiple attempts to stop the text messages, eventually bringing a putative class action against Facebook. (10)

    Duguid's complaint alleges that Facebook violated the TCPA because their database had the ability to store numbers and distribute automated text messages. (11) In response, Facebook contended that the TCPA did not apply to their system because it did not use a "random or sequential number generator." (12) The Ninth Circuit agreed with Duguid, "holding that [section]227(a)(1) applies to a notification system like Facebook's that has the capacity to dial automatically stored numbers." (13)

    Facebook appealed to the Supreme Court. (14) The issue was "whether the clause 'using a random or sequential number generator' in [section]227(a)(1)(A)...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT