Repeat TCPA litigator Andrew Perrong apparently received several recent phone calls from somebody identifying only as “Connor.”
Through some sleuthing he was able to determine the calls came from RingCentral. So we asked a court to allow some expeditated discovery against RC. Specifically to provide: “the name, address, contact telephone number, website, and e-mail address of the subscriber that made the automated calls.”
The court performed a pretty good analysis here, noting there was a chance that the number displaying on Perrong’s screen might not have been the actual number used by the caller–i.e. that it was spoofed–so requiring RC to research the number on the subpoena might actually be a dead end:
Plaintiff recorded the Defendant’s purported telephone number on his caller ID. Compl. ¶ 28. However, a caller ID display may not show the caller’s true telephone number. For instance, fraudulent actors often use a technique known as “call spoofing” to deliberately falsify the information transmitted to a recipient’s caller ID display. As a result, call spoofing may cause a caller ID display to show an entirely unrelated person’s telephone number. Therefore, Plaintiff’s interests must be balanced against the interests of the unknown telephone customer.
In the end, however, the Court permitted the subpoena to issue. See Perrong v. Connor, 2023 WL 113957 (D. N.J. Jan. 4, 2023.)
Not a whole lot to take away from this one, but subpoenaed parties should keep in mind that burden defenses and scope objections remains potent in this setting–especially where spoofing might mean all the work performed responding to a subpoena is a waste of time or worse–an invasion of a potentially-innocent customer’s privacy.