Facebook To Pay $550M For Storing Facial Recognition Data Without Consent

Facebook To Pay $550M For Storing Facial Recognition Data Without Consent

While Texas and CT also have laws regulating biometrics, IL has a one-of-a-kind biometric privacy statute under which consumers may sue for monetary damages.

The settlement boosted Facebook's expenses for the fourth quarter, though profit still totaled $7.35 billion, up 7%.

This is the second major settlement from Facebook in six months; a seemingly enormous $5 billion settlement of FTC violations was announced over the summer, but it's actually a bit of a joke.

Facebook's face recognition tagging feature got them into a little bit of trouble in IL, which could be a win for you.

Facebook discontinued Tag Suggestions in 2019.

But a San Francisco federal judge rejected that argument, saying in 2018 that the alleged violation of the user-consent requirement in the IL law goes to "the very privacy rights the IL legislature sought to protect".

The courts have struggled over what qualifies as an "injury" to pursue a privacy case in lawsuits accusing Facebook, Google and other Internet firms of siphoning users' personal information from e-mails and monitoring their browsing habits. However, the judge in charge of the case rejected the arguments.

Facebook was also suspected at the time of heavy lobbying efforts toward defanging BIPA. It's hard to imagine such a ridiculous proposal was the suggestion of anyone but the industry, which tends to regard the strong protections of the law in IL as quite superfluous.

Jay Edelson, a lawyer whose firm represented plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit, said late Wednesday that "biometric privacy is one of the biggest fights of the day", adding: "We are proud of this settlement and hope that others will follow Facebook's lead".

Meanwhile, in an official statement, Facebook says it settled because "it was in the best interest of our community and our shareholders to move past this matter". Obviously it admits to no wrongdoing. The lawsuit claims that Facebook illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent, thus violating IL consumer privacy law.

IL heavily regulates the use of biometric identifiers, prohibiting the collection and storing of biometric information without consent from individuals.

The settlement will push technology companies to pay closer attention to users' concerns over biometric technology, said Ms Pam Dixon, executive director of nonprofit advocacy group World Privacy Forum.

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