Facebook Faces Yet Another Legal Battle: A Class Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition

The largest social media company in the world faces another legal battle. On Monday, April 16, 2018, US District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that a class action lawsuit could proceed with the allegation that Facebook illegally collected and stored its users biometric data without their permission.

Facebook uses facial recognition software to automatically detect and suggest names for faces in photographs that are uploaded to the website. The legal dispute, however, argues that this technology violates Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, a law enacted in 2008 that restricts companies from collecting and storing users’ biometric data without their consent.

The company argues that the data it collects from users does not fall under the Illinois law, which specifies data as fingerprints, “voice prints” and images of “hand or face geometry.” Facebook’s argument also notes that its users can choose to disable the feature. A company spokesperson stated that the company believes that “the case has no merit.”

Additional Reading:

Facebook to Face Class Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition, CNET (April 16, 2018)

In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation – Docket Report

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