Courtney Bowman writes:
Last month, a federal district court in the Northern District of California issued an order that may affect the policies of any company that records telephone conversations with consumers.
The trouble began when plaintiff John Lofton began receiving calls from Collecto, Verizon’s third-party collections agency, on his cell phone. The calls were made in error – Lofton did not owe Verizon any money because he wasn’t even a Verizon customer – but Lofton decided to take action when he discovered that Collecto had been recording its conversations with him without prior notice. Lofton brought a class action against Verizon under California’s Invasion of Privacy Act, theorizing that Verizon was vicariously responsible for Collecto’s actions because Collecto was Verizon’s third-party vendor and because Verizon’s call-monitoring disclosure policy did not require the disclosure of recordings in certain situations. Verizon filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the recordings did not invade Lofton’s privacy and therefore did not run afoul of the statute.
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