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techkenyot.com October 16, 2018


US Judge Slaps Facebook with Class Action Suit over Facial Recognition Tool

17 April 2018, 03:44 | Hattie Nash

US Judge Slaps Facebook with Class Action Suit over Facial Recognition Tool

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Facebook violated an IL state law by improperly using their photo-scanning and facial recognition technologies and storing biometric data without their users' consent, a federal judge in California ruled on Monday, after reviewing a 2015 claim made against Facebook by three IL plaintiffs.

The move comes in response to users criticizing Facebook for its handling of user data and protecting privacy.

Facebook, which tried to get the case thrown out, said it was reviewing the ruling.

The plaintiffs say Facebook's creation and storing of face templates for automatic photo-tagging purposes is prohibited under BIPA.

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A USA federal judge ruled on Monday that Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully created facial templates for people without their permission. But despite Facebook's success in getting the case moved from IL to San Francisco, the judge ruled that "plaintiffs' claims are sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis".

The three users have sued under an IL state law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which affords certain people protections over information such as fingerprints, retina scans, and facial recognition data.

In his ruling, US District Judge James Donato determined that the "claims are sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis".

As it stands the suit is seeking damages of up to $5,000 for everytime a person's image was used without permission.

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In a successful class action suit, any person in that group could be entitled to compensation. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously".

The facial recognition feature isn't now available in the UK. This is the date that Facebook launched the Tag Suggestions feature.

The company is now trying to roll out facial recognition technology inside the European Union again, according to the Irish Times, but on an opt-in basis.

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