Facebook May Face Class Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition Technology

17 April, 2018, 20:23 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
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Plaintiffs claim that Facebook violated BIPA by collecting and storing IL users' biometric data without prior notice or consent through its "Tag Suggestions" tool-a feature launched in 2011 that prompts users to identify friends in pictures uploaded to the social media site.

Facebook may have more controversy on their hands soon with a California judge ruling a class action lawsuit over the use of facial recognition technology.

"We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously", the spokesperson said.

Judge James Donato found Monday that plaintiffs' complaints are "sufficiently cohesive" for the case to proceed as a class action lawsuit.

The plaintiffs, a group of Facebook users in IL, say Facebook collects and stores the biometric data of users as a part of a "face template" without prior notice or consent.

Although many individuals may not have had enough tagged photos to generate a face template in Facebook's database, in January 2011 (i.e., before Facebook implemented tag suggestions for all users) the average user was tagged in 53 photos, far more than the 10 needed to generate a face template. The lawsuit, filed in 2015, claims this violates an IL law on the privacy of biometric identification technology.




Judge Donato has ruled that the IL privacy act is clear and that Facebook collected a "wealth of data on its users, including self-reported residency and IP addresses".

Schroepfer said most of the affected users are in the USA, and added: "We will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica".

Facebook sources said last week CEO Mark Zuckerberg could testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 10.

"When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you're logged out or don't have a Facebook account", product management director David Baser said in a post on the social network's blog.

Social networking giant Facebook is introducing a third-party fact-checking programme in India to combat the spread of "false news" on its platform, starting with a pilot in Karnataka, which goes to polls next month.

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