techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com April 24, 2018


Facebook charged over use of facial recognition

17 April 2018, 06:16 | Casey Mitchell

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A federal judge on Monday said Facebook must face a potentially multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit from a group of IL users who say the company violated a state law that restricts facial recognition software. The lawsuit was originally filed back in 2015 by users in IL, accusing the social network of violating a law in the state that prohibits the collection of biometric info. Although it's no longer the peak social hub that it used to be, people use the site to tag their friends in memes or amusing posts, and to share photos. The class action says that this breaches IL state law.

Facebook's arguments that no "actual" harm was caused and that the Act can't apply because its servers aren't in IL failed to convince Donato.

On Monday, Judge Donato ruled to certify a class of Facebook users - a key legal hurdle for a class action suit.

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The class of people in question is made up of Facebook users "in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after 7 June 2011", according to the court order. Now, US District Judge James Donato has ruled that it can proceed with class-action status.

He is also due to meet European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip in San Francisco this week, reports Bloomberg. "By using facial recognition", she wrote.

Launched in 2014, "Bumble" initially allowed Facebook-based information to speed up and simplify the process of registration and logging in of new users. The faces in the database were scraped from as many as 35,000 videos and photos of terrorist training camps, terror attacks, and motivational videos.

US Judge Slaps Facebook with Class Action Suit over Facial Recognition Tool
As it stands the suit is seeking damages of up to $5,000 for everytime a person's image was used without permission. The move comes in response to users criticizing Facebook for its handling of user data and protecting privacy .

On its help pages, Facebook says the face templates are made from information about the similarities in every photo the user has been tagged in.

Facebook issued a statement saying it continued to believe that the lawsuit has no merit. Facebook, on the other hand, has been collecting that data including facial recognition for years. Both Verint and Terrogence have provided surveillance and spy technology to U.S. government bodies such as the NSA and the U.S. Navy as well as many other intelligence agencies.

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