SiriusXM

A District judge in California has ruled that SiriusXM Radio was acting legally when a used car buyer sued the satellite music company because he said it obtained his personal information from Department of Motor Vehicles records. In fact, plaintiff James Andrew filled out a “Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form,” which was then accessed—legally—by third party AutoManager on the satcaster’s behalf to contact the consumer.

In his ruling, Pasadena District Judge Percy Anderson upheld a pervious decision, writing amid a 21-page summary, “The primary question before us is whether Sirius XM’s use of personal information derived from Andrews’ driver’s license violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA). Because we conclude that the DPPA does not apply… rather than a state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Sirius XM. We also affirm the district court’s denial of Andrews’s motion to amend his complaint to add a claim under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.”

In January 2017, Andrews purchased a pre-owned 2012 Chevy Equinox from Auto Source, a used car lot in Banning, CA. “He presented the dealership with his California driver’s license, from which it obtained his name and PO Box address,” according to court papers obtained by Inside Radio. He also filled out a… multipurpose form that serves as an odometer disclosure, bill of sale and power of attorney.” Auto Source input this information into its dealer management system (DMS), which runs on a database platform operated by AutoManager.

Auto Source enrolled in Sirius XM’s pre-owned program in 2015. The terms of the agreement provide that Sirius XM “requires the use of data that exists in [Auto Source’s DMS], including customer data to activate [its] customers’ SiriusXM Trial Service and to communicate with customers regarding their Trial Subscriptions and options to extend their SiriusXM services,” according to the summary.

After Andrew’s free SiriusXM trial ended, he was contacted by the third party company—but insisted in his complaint “that he gave neither Auto Source nor anyone else permission to share his personal information with Sirius XM.” His attorney wrote: “Within days of Andrews’s purchase, the deluge began. Sirius XM sent various letters to Andrews’s PO Box between January and August 2017, imploring him—“We Want You Back!”—to resume his Sirius XM service after the subscription included with his car purchase ended. Sirius XM also telephoned him for the same purpose.”

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Anderson’s decree, made clear that SiriusXM is perfectly within the letter of the law to conduct such a campaign. Wrote Anderson, “We conclude that Sirius XM did not violate the DPPA when it used personal information obtained from Andrews’s driver’s license.”