California has strong privacy laws in its California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) which forbids the recording of calls without the consent of all parties to the call. The complaint for this class action alleges that Southwest Airlines Co. violates the law by regularly recording calls to and from its Rapid Rewards number.
The class for this action is all California residents who, while in California, at any time during the applicable limitations period through the date when this case is resolved, engaged in a conversation with Southwest Airlines employees or agents which was recorded or monitored by Southwest, without any warning or disclosure of this, while one or both parties were using a cellular or cordless phone.
CIPA prohibits the recording or monitoring of a communication made to or from a cellular or cordless telephone without the consent of all parties to the communication.
On July 22, 2019, plaintiff Mike Clark-Alonso called the number (800) 445-5764, which is Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards number and connects to its customer service representatives. The representative he spoke to said nothing before or during the call about the call being monitored or recorded.
However, Clark-Alonso has now been informed and now believes that the call was monitored or recorded. The complaint points out that he could not give his consent to this, since he was never asked for it and never informed of the facts.
The complaint alleges that this is the regular practice for calls both to and from this number, and that Southwest “intentionally has used technology consisting of hardware and/or software and/or other equipment to carry out a policy and practice of recording and/or monitoring calls routed to [Southwest’s] customer service representatives.”
It further alleges that other California callers to the Rapid Rewards number also had their calls monitored or recorded by Southwest and were also not informed of this or asked for their consent at the outset of their calls. It also claims that outbound calls, from the company’s representatives to California consumers, were also monitored or recorded without the consumers being informed of the fact or asked for their consent.
In connection with an earlier case, California’s Supreme Court has said, “in light of the circumstances that California consumers are accustomed to being informed at the outset of a telephone call whenever a business entity intends to record the call, it appears equally plausible that, in the absence of such and advisement, a California consumer reasonably would anticipate that such a telephone call is not being recorded, particularly in view of the strong privacy interest most persons have with regard to the personal financial information frequently disclosed in such calls.
The sole cause of action named in this complaint is the violation of CIPA for unlawful recording and/or monitoring of cellular and cordless telephone communications.
Article Type: Lawsuit