Twitter recently had their motion to dismiss denied in a case that presents several alarming legal trends for the call center industry. Two primary issues stand out in this case. First, the number that received a text message from Twitter was a “recycled” number. The previous user had apparently consented to receive texts from Twitter, but the number had been deactivated and assigned to a new cell phone user. The new user then received a text from Twitter, and sued arguing that they had never provided consent. In their motion to dismiss Twitter argued that they had no way of knowing that the number had been reassigned, and shouldn’t be held liable for the text. The court disagreed and cited a 7th Circuit decision that explained that “only the consent of the subscriber assigned to that cell number at the time of the call (or perhaps the person who answers the phone) justifies an automated or recorded call.”
The second issue is even more common. Twitter argued that because their system did not randomly or sequentially dial numbers, it was not an ATDS. The court took an expansive view of the FCC’s interpretation of the TCPA, and found that Twitter’s system was and ATDS.