Facebook faces Class Action suit over facial recognition on photos

17 April, 2018, 20:23 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • How not to take Facebook to task

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".

A Facebook spokeswoman told AFP the company was reviewing the decision, adding: "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously". The judge also noted that there is enough evidence to suggest that Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), enacted in 2008, which forbids companies from profiting from a person's biometric information.

Lawsuit challenges the social-network giant over its gathering of facial recognition data on photos without the consent of users.

As part of initial legal procedure, the class of people filing this lawsuit has been legally defined as Facebook users "in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011".

In June 2011, Facebook introduced a feature in certain countries - the U.S. being one of them - giving users the ability to automatically tag people in their photographs.

The company has been trying for years to dismiss the case and even pushed for a legislative proposal that would render the IL law harmless.

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Judge James Donato in San Francisco ruled the most effective way for a group of Illinois-based Facebook users, who first filed a case in 2015, to resolve the dispute was through a class action lawsuit.

The European Union's digital chief is also slated to meet with the embattled CEO amid increasing criticisms from activists in Europe that the company is engaging in manipulative and deceitful conduct in order to impose facial surveillance on European users.

Executives from Facebook will appear before an Oireachtas committee later today to consider the use of social media and its potential influence on previous and future elections and referenda.

The law in question is called the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which offers users protection over security methods used by websites, including iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scans of hands.

Facebook raised the number of those affected by a data leak to 87 million users, from the previous estimate of 50 million, Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said in a statement. The court responded that users' privacy, not wallet or body, was harmed by Facebook's tactics.

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