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United States District Court for the Northern District of California
December 18, 2018, Decided; December 18, 2018, Filed
Case No. 18-cv-01881-RS
[*1045] ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
[*1046] I. INTRODUCTION
Defendant Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook") is a global social media and networking company. It owns and operates a website and smartphone applications for Android and iOS such as Facebook Messenger and Facebook Lite. In March 2018, the news website Ars Technica reported Facebook apps for Android were programmed to scrape user call and text data to monetize the information for advertising purposes. Facebook allegedly scraped data by exploiting a software vulnerability in the permission settings of older versions of the Android OS. When users installed older versions of Facebook Messenger or Facebook Lite on their Android smartphones a contact upload prompt to grant Facebook access to contact lists surreptitiously also granted access to user call and text logs. Facebook stopped data scraping once the Android OS eventually closed the vulnerability.
Plaintiffs are consumers from the states of California, Florida, Kansas, New York and Texas who bring claims for violations of California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"), [**5] Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1750, et seq.; California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200-10-10; California's Computer Data Access and Fraud Act ("CDAFA"), Cal. Penal Code § 502; California's constitutional right to privacy; intrusion upon seclusion; trespass to personal property; New York's General Business Law ("GBL"), Gen. Bus. Law § 349; and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs' theory of liability is Facebook failed to represent accurately or disclose it was collecting user data in violation of user privacy, and deprived users of any income generated from the use or sale of the data. Facebook's present motion seeks to dismiss all the claims without leave to amend.
Because plaintiffs do not identify in the complaint an omission or a specific misleading [*1047] contact upload prompt, they fail to state their fraud-based claims with sufficient particularity. The complaint also lacks factual averments supporting an injury in fact to establish standing for the CDAFA and GBL § 349 claims. Furthermore, the GBL claim is barred by Facebook's enforceable choice of law provision. Accordingly, the motion to dismiss is granted and plaintiffs are given 21 days leave to amend.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
384 F. Supp. 3d 1043 *; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226035 **
ANTHONY WILLIAMS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. FACEBOOK, INC., Defendant.
Subsequent History: Dismissed by, Without prejudice, in part, Motion denied by, in part, Motion granted by, Motion denied by Williams v. Facebook, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160013 (N.D. Cal., Aug. 29, 2019)
Objection sustained by, in part, Objection overruled by, in part Olin v. Facebook, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195155 (N.D. Cal., Nov. 7, 2019)
Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part, Without prejudice Olin v. Facebook, Inc., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102532 (N.D. Cal., June 11, 2020)
user, prompt, privacy, logs, intrusion, judicial notice, collecting, unjust enrichment, seclusion, invasion of privacy, disclosure, averred, courts, upload, Biometric, consumer, particularized, plaintiffs', permission, concrete, scraping, cases, motion to dismiss, leave to amend, advertising, notice, choice of law, misrepresentation, vulnerability, allegations
Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Heightened Pleading Requirements, Fraud Claims, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Amendment of Pleadings, Leave of Court, Justiciability, Standing, Burdens of Proof, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Elements, Injury in Fact, Torts, Intentional Torts, Invasion of Privacy, Intrusions, Contracts Law, Remedies, Equitable Relief, Quantum Meruit, Pleading & Practice, Answers, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Motions for Summary Judgment, Evidence, Judicial Notice, Adjudicative Facts, Verifiable Facts, Business & Corporate Compliance, Criminal Offenses, Computer & Internet Law, Criminal Offenses, Intrusions, Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, False Advertising, State Regulation, Federal & State Interrelationships, Choice of Law, Significant Relationships, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Quasi Contracts, Restitution, Complaints