The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled in Stalley, et al., v. ADS Alliance Data Systems, Inc., that a marketing company did not violate Florida’s Security of Communications Act by recording its calls to an individual’s Florida home about credit card accounts. The court upheld a district court’s ruling that the recordings fell within an exception to Florida’s prohibition on communications intercepts for interceptions that occur “in the ordinary course of business” and utilize equipment provided by a communication service provider. The decision is significant because Florida’s Act is based on the federal Wiretap Act, as are many other states’ communications privacy laws, and the Eleventh Circuit’s broad interpretation of the “business use” exception conflicts with the decisions of other courts. This is an issue of great significance to communications providers, website operators, and Internet businesses that monitor consumers’ communications and Internet activity as a regular part of their business.
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