Facebook users in Illinois have sued the multi-billion-dollar company for privacy violations regarding its facial recognition program. The plaintiffs have sued Facebook on the basis that the company violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
According to the class action lawsuit, the technology collects scans of face geometry from users’ photos to recognize faces. The plaintiffs claim this is a violation of the state’s privacy act because the company failed to obtain written consent from users before creating templates of their faces from their photos. Facebook argues that the software learns for itself what distinguishes different faces—a dispute which US District Judge James Donato says a jury will have to settle. The suit also alleges that Facebook failed to properly notify users about how their information would be used.
The suit was filed in Chicago in 2015 and was then moved to federal court in San Francisco. The plaintiffs are seeking $5,000 for each reckless violation of Illinois law, and $1,000 for each negligent violation. The judge who granted the suit class-action status in April says damages could end up in the billions.
Trial Over Facial Recognition Postponed
Two weeks ago, a federal appeals court granted Facebook’s request to postpone the trial, which was set for July. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will review the lawsuit’s class-action certification before it can proceed.
“As technology becomes more advanced, companies must be careful not to move forward so quickly that they violate their customers’ privacy rights,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
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DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.
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