Facebook Must Face Court for Facial Recognition - US Judge
Facebook Must Face Court for Facial Recognition - US Judge
CloseAlly Zacek | The DePaulia
17 April, 2018, 20:23
A USA federal judge has ruled that Facebook must face a class action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission. Anyone who has been part of face template files from IL stored on after 7 June 2011 has been certified as the group who fall under the state laws that have been breached.
Facebook got the casemoved from IL to San Francisco, where Judge James Donato affirmed that a class-action lawsuit was the best path to a solution in this regard. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) requires consent before companies can collect biometric data.
The ruling on Monday by a United States federal judge in California comes as the social network is snared in a scandal over the mishandling of 87 million users' data ahead of the 2016 USA presidential election.
He said the firm is making changes to better protect user data. The feature allows Facebook to scan images and spot people who might be present in uploaded photos based on existing database of users.
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. A company spokesperson said it is "reviewing the ruling", adding that "we continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously".
Facebook is believed to have a collection of face data far greater than law enforcement authorities, and some have anxious about it potentially being used to identify people in public spaces such as at protests.
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.
As the scandal unfolded, the Electronic Privacy Information Center said it would challenge Facebook's use of facial recognition with the Federal Trade Commission. Facebook argued that the lawsuit should be pursued by individuals and not as a class-action as "damages could amount to billions of dollars", the company also argued that each user could be "aggrieved" differently and should be forced to prove that they were negatively affected by Facebook's collection of the data.
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