Campbell et al v. Facebook Inc.

Filing 113

Joint Discovery Letter Briefon Plaintiffs Request for Production No. 41 and Interrogatory No. 8 filed by Matthew Campbell, Michael Hurley, David Shadpour. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E)(Sobol, Michael) (Filed on 9/18/2015)

Download PDF
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 OAKLAND DIVISION 4 5 MATTHEW CAMPBELL, MICHAEL HURLEY, and DAVID SHADPOUR, 8 9 ATTESTATION IN SUPPORT OF JOINT LETTER REGARDING FACEBOOK’S RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS’ INTERROGATORY NO. 8 AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 41 Plaintiffs, 6 7 Case No. C 13-05996 PJH (MEJ) v. FACEBOOK, INC., Date: TBD Time: TBD Location: San Francisco Courthouse Courtroom B – 15th Floor 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102 Defendant. 10 11 12 Pursuant to the Discovery Standing Order for Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James, 13 undersigned counsel hereby attest that they met and conferred in person in a good faith attempt to 14 resolve their disputes prior to filing the below joint letter. 15 16 Dated: September 18, 2015 Respectfully submitted, 17 18 19 20 LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP By: /s/ Michael W. Sobol MICHAEL W. SOBOL Attorneys for Plaintiffs 21 22 GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP 23 24 25 By: /s/ Joshua A. Jessen JOSHUA A. JESSEN Attorneys for Defendant Facebook, Inc. 26 27 28 1 ATTESTATION IN SUPPORT OF JOINT LETTER REGARDING FACEBOOK’S RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS’ INTERROGATORY NO. 8 AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 41 Case No. C 13-05996 PJH (MEJ) VIA ECF The Honorable Maria-Elena James, Chief Magistrate Judge United States District Court, Northern District of California San Francisco Courthouse, Courtroom B - 15th Floor 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 Re: Campbell v. Facebook, Inc., N.D. Cal. Case No. 13-cv-05996-PJH (MEJ) To The Hon. Maria-Elena James: Plaintiffs and Defendant Facebook, Inc. jointly submit this letter brief pursuant to the Court’s Discovery Standing Order. I. Background A dispute has arisen in this action over Plaintiffs’ Interrogatory No. 8 and Request for Production No. 41. Interrogatory No. 8 asks Facebook to: Identify all facts relating to the Processing of each Private Message sent or received by Plaintiffs containing a URL, including, for each Private Message: (A) all Objects that were created during the Processing of the Private Message, including the (id) and the Object Type for each Object, as well as any Key -> Value Pair(s) contained in each Object; (B) all Objects that were created specifically when the embedded URL was shared, including the (id) and the Object Type for each Object, as well as any Key -> Value Pair(s) contained in each Object; (C) all Associations related to each Private Message, identified by the Source Object, Association Type, and Destination Object, as well as any Key -> Value Pair(s) contained in each Association; (D) the database names and table names in which each Association and Object is stored; (E) each application or feature in Facebook that uses the Objects or Associations created for each Private Message; and (F) how each Object associated with the Private Message was used by Facebook. (Ex. A.) Request for Production No. 41, in turn, seeks the production of “[a]ll Documents and ESI relied upon, reviewed, or referenced by [Facebook] in answering Interrogatory No. 8.” (Ex. B.) In its responses, Facebook offered to meet and confer with Plaintiffs on these requests (Exs. C & D), and the parties met and conferred several times thereafter. During that -1- process, Plaintiffs narrowed the requests to 19 of Plaintiffs’ messages. Facebook then searched for these 19 messages, located 16 of them, and produced to Plaintiffs the objects and associations (if any) related to the URLs included in those 16 messages on September 1, 2015. (Ex. E) Plaintiffs consider this a partial production. Having conferred in person, the parties are now at an impasse and submit this joint letter pursuant to the Court’s Discovery Standing Order. II. Plaintiffs’ Position These discovery requests seek information directly related to the essential issues in this case: what content Facebook acquires when it intercepts private messages, where Facebook stores that content, and how Facebook uses that content. Information relating to the Objects and Associations1 created from Plaintiffs’ messages is not only critical to Plaintiffs’ claims, but also to Facebook’s defenses. Facebook’s principal argument is not that this information should not be produced— rather, it argues this brief is premature. However, the brief is the culmination of three-and-ahalf month process that included four in-person meet and confers and seven letters exchanged between the parties, after which time Facebook provided only partial, inadequate responses.2 The deadline for both class certification and summary judgment motions is October 14, less than one month from the date of this filing. Facebook’s position that it will provide fulsome responses at an unspecified time in the future unduly prejudices Plaintiffs in their efforts to prepare for these impending, critical deadlines.3 Despite stating that it will, eventually, produce the information sought, Facebook simultaneously—and contradictorily—challenges the relevance of Plaintiffs’ discovery requests, claiming that only Objects and Associations directly related to URLs should be produced. Facebook knows this position is untenable, as it already has agreed to provide “all source code related to the private message function from creation through end storage, including any scanning or acquisition of private message content and any data structures that connect or associate users to messages or message content, and messages to attachments or URLs.”4 The source code enables Plaintiffs to understand the processes Facebook employs for its messaging functionality, thereby giving Plaintiffs an overview of how and when messages are scanned. The information sought in these requests is a corollary to that source code; here, Plaintiffs wish to learn what specific data were generated by Facebook, from only nineteen of their own messages, and how that data was used and stored. Further, while Facebook is correct that Plaintiffs do not challenge the message scanning it conducts “for criminal conduct, illegal pornography, [and] viruses,” it omits the fact that Facebook, itself, intends to rely on these scanning activities in support of its 1 Objects and Associations are metadata structures that Facebook generates to catalog its users’ online activity. See Declaration of David T. Rudolph in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion to Enlarge Time and Extend Dedlines at ¶¶ 29-32 (Dkt. No. 109-2). 3 This delay has been typical of Facebook’s response across the entire discovery spectrum, forcing Plaintiffs to file an opposed motion with Judge Hamilton seeking a 90-day extension to the October 14 deadlines. See Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend Time and Enlarge Deadlines (Dkt. No. 109). 4 E-mail from J. Jessen, Facebook Counsel, to H. Bates, Plaintiffs Counsel (Jun. 25, 2015, 11:01 PM CST). 2 -2- extracted after a reasonable search. Plaintiffs have no need for this irrelevant information to prepare their motion for class certification or to oppose Facebook’s future motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs also have demanded a variety of other pieces of information, such as (i) “each application or feature in Facebook that uses the Objects or Associations,” and (ii) “how each Object associated with the Private Message was used.” But Facebook is a massive social network, and processing, routing, and storing content from billions of user actions per day requires generation of an enormous amount of data that are not accessible in the way that Plaintiffs imagine. Facebook’s technical architecture is complicated and vast, and there is no readily identifiable list of this information—nor can any list be assembled without significant undue burden (though it likely cannot be assembled at all). And again, Plaintiffs’ request is not limited to the subject matter of their claims—URLs contained in messages.10 Facebook already gave Plaintiffs direct access to all the relevant source code—the “black box” they told this Court they needed to understand Facebook’s messages product. (Dkt. 92.) To date, Plaintiffs have had three different experts spend almost four weeks analyzing that source code (which Facebook provided, reluctantly and unusually, in this consumer class action as a compromise, not as a concession of relevance, as Plaintiffs incorrectly suggest). Yet Plaintiffs continue to demand more. This request represents an extreme burden on Facebook, whose busy and valuable technical employees must take considerable time away from their normal job duties to search for information that is not readily accessible (if it is accessible at all), and not even remotely related to Plaintiffs’ claims. Plaintiffs are no longer seeking information relevant to their claims—they are improperly fishing for a new basis for their meritless lawsuit. See, e.g., Hughes v. LaSalle Bank, N.A., 2004 WL 414828, at *1-2 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 4, 2004) (affirming order limiting discovery to the putative class alleged in the complaint); Flores v. Bank of America, 2012 WL 6725842, at *2-4 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 27, 2012) (denying motion to compel discovery that fell outside the class definition; such discovery “constitutes a ‘fishing expedition’ which would be unduly burdensome for Defendants”). Facebook respectfully requests that the Court deny Plaintiffs’ request. 10 Plaintiffs’ suggestion that Facebook is obligated to either answer an overbroad and unduly burdensome interrogatory, or undertake an overbroad and unduly burdensome collection and production in order to satisfy its discovery obligations, is contrary to Rule 33. See, e.g., Kaufman v. Am. Family Mutual Ins. Co., 2007 WL 1430105, at *1 (D. Colo. May 11, 2007) (“[I]nterrogatories that require a party to make extensive investigations, research, or compilation or evaluation of data for the opposing party are in many circumstances improper.”); Iridex Corp. v. Synergetics, Inc., 2007 WL 781254, at *4 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 12, 2007) (finding that party’s production of business records containing some, but not all, of the information requested was sufficient where providing such additional information would be unduly burdensome). -5-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?