back to article Facebook ‘Happy Birthday’ lawsuit rolls on

Facebook has failed to dismiss moves to file a class action lawsuit over its practice of sending "unsolicited" text messages when your friend has a birthday. Plaintiff Colin R. Brickman alleges that this violates telemarketing laws in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The law was originally intended to give protection …

  1. Baldy50

    If I could sue the mobile company for selling my number to these numpties ringing me up asking if I'd had PPI or telling me I'd been involved in an MV accident, 33 years no claims to date and my usual response is "If I was at the other end of the phone, It's you that would be involved in an accident", (on purpose), my fist your face and a completely random unexplained muscle spasm, out of the blue.

    If you give your mobile number and the rest of your info to them what do you expect' Duh!

  2. pogul

    The article doesn't really explain who got sent what. Is it saying that Facebook sent one of Brickman's friends an SMS purporting to be a happy birthday message sent by Brickman?

    I deleted my Facebook account a couple of months ago and couldn't be happier about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deleted your FB account?

      Are you mad? Well, that will stop you getting into the USA in future. Apparently the want ALL your Social Media account details. Only those with something to hide don't have these accounts.

      Oh wait.... Bummer that includes me. I eschew Facebook, Twitter and all those other crap sites.

      I'd better think again about trying to attend by Grandsons Wedding in San Diego later this year.

      Boo, down with Trumper.

      :) :)

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Deleted your FB account?

        Are you mad? Well, that will stop you getting into the USA in future. Apparently the want ALL your Social Media account details. Only those with something to hide don't have these accounts.

        It might happen that some of citizens might be escorted to the door then for not having a Social Media Account. I guess we're all expected to take an interest in 1) cats 2) what everyone had for dinner 3) reality TV. I'm sure there's others that should be on the list of "must reads"....

        Meh.... so kick me out but just let me land someplace that will let me be.

        1. MrT

          Art imitating life...

          ... or vice versa?

          Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror episode "Nosedive". What if everything depended on 'likes'? The happiest were the ones who opted out (like the truck driver).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Brickman received texts from Facebook says that it's ("friend") John Doe's birthday, encouraging him to send a happy birthday message to him.

      The suit is arguing that it's telemarketing (encouraging Facebook use, rather than just information about _his_ account) and that he never gave permission to use the number for telemarketing purposes.

    3. Stuart Castle

      Your mobile company doesn't need to sell the number..

      It's possible to harvest phone numbers without buying them.

      You set up a computer with some sort of telecoms system (be it Modem, VOIP or whatever). This system is running software that picks from a list of known exchanges. It starts dialling numbers on that exchange. If the number comes up unobtainable, it logs the number as dead. If the number comes up as enganged, or just rings, it gets logged as an active number and may be dialled later. As soon as someone answers, the computer puts the call through to a human. It also logs the number as being active, Initially, the system dials a lot of numbers (potentially millions), but as the list is built up, they can cut the number of calls. This is actually how email spam works, but they start out sending billions of emails.

      The spammer, once they have generated a list of active (or potentially active) numbers, will sell it on to other spammers.

      I don't know for sure if the spammers do that, but I suspect they do. The phone companies may well have equipment in place to detect it, but there are probably ways around that, especially if you fake your caller ID..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you still getting notifications, though?

      I wonder if they'd like to expand that class action to include people they've kicked out of their accounts with demands of 'proof of identity' that seem to change frequently, that might eventually be reviewed and, if FB likes you, you might, possibly, eventually get control of the account back. However, they're still sending out notifications of the activities of friends, which can't be stopped as you can't log into the account to stop it, because you've been locked out while they're waiting for you to provide photographs of driving licences, passports, birth/marriage certificates, bank cards, check books and so on (yes, they're all on the list of documents they'll accept as 'proof', as long as they get a matching photo, name as is displayed on the account and date of birth, even if it takes several documents to do so, and each document has to match on name at least...)...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really??

    This is why I have never publicly shared not provided my phone number to Facebook.

    1. John 104

      Re: Really??

      @AC

      Doesn't matter. If you have a friend or business associate who is on face book and has your contact info, FB has it.

      Dicks.

      1. cream wobbly

        Re: Really??

        FB doesn't provide a Contacts thingy. So the other party cannot store your number. It has to be your own act.

  4. CheeseTriangles
    Thumb Up

    One more reason...

    ...never to have a Facebook account.

  5. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Stop

    can't open pandora's box on spamming

    can't open pandora's box on spamming. It starts with "happy birthday" and ends up being "happy birthday and here's your latest deals on spectacular items at low, low prices"

    NO. just no. on spam of ANY kind. even an automated 'happy birthday' text message to your friend's phone that you didn't specifically ASK to be sent.

    because, as we all know, some spamming entity will 'friend' a zillion people, and next thing you know, that automated spamming happy birthday message becomes a vector for getting away with spam-vertisements.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: can't open pandora's box on spamming

      some spamming entity will 'friend' a zillion people, and next thing you know, that automated spamming happy birthday message becomes a vector for getting away with spam-vertisements.

      Or more likely.. malvertsing... "Congratulations... send me 2 bitcoins or your data is history"......

      1. Oengus Silver badge

        Re: can't open pandora's box on spamming

        Or more likely.. malvertsing... "Congratulations... send me 2 bitcoins or your data is history"......

        Here's 3 bitcoins if you can guarantee that all copies of my data on facebook has been deleted permanently.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    #NO

    No one on Facebook has my contact phone number real name, nor any real personal info, hence, I never receive texts from Facebook.

  7. Herby Silver badge

    Why not go after the REAL spammers??

    And make us all happy. I get over 500 messages that qualify as spam and I'd like $500 for each one. I could retire on that amount of money.

    Yes, wishful thinking.

  8. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

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