A $550 million settlement has been announced in a class action lawsuit against Facebook alleging that it violated an Illinois privacy law through its use of facial recognition technology. Since 2010, the social media platform has used a photo recognition feature on users’ photos in order to offer Tag Suggestions. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleged that the practice of collecting biometric data of this nature without users’ permission or any information as to how long the information would be kept violated Illinois law.
Facebook has denied the plaintiffs’ allegations, and has stated that it decided to pursue a settlement in the best interest of its community and shareholders. The $550 million settlement amounts to a fraction of Facebook’s $21 billion fourth quarter revenue. In addition to paying the settlement amount to eligible Illinois users, Facebook will pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees.
Facebook to Pay $550 Million to Settle Facial Recognition Suit, The New York Times, January 29, 2020
Joint Status Report, In re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, filed February 3, 2020, via Justia Dockets
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Artem Oleshko