Facebook Ordered to Face Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition

Facebook fuels broad privacy debate by tracking non-users

Facebook faces a class-action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology to tag people in photos.

The Illinois residents who sued under the Biometric Information Privacy Act have argued the 2008 state law gives them a "property interest" in the algorithms that constitute their digital identities. Damages could be steep - a fact that wasn't lost on the judge, who was unsympathetic to Facebook's arguments for limiting its legal exposure.

Three plaintiffs are seeking $5,000 in penalties per offense for every time Facebook used facial recognition on a user in IL without their explicit permission.

"If you've never been tagged in a photo on Facebook or have untagged yourself in all photos of you on Facebook, then we do not have this summary information for you."

They are referring to Facebook's "tag suggestions" feature, which uses facial recognition to suggest which friends to tag in a photo. But despite Facebook's success in getting the case moved from IL to San Francisco, the judge ruled that "plaintiffs' claims are sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis".

'Mission accomplished': Trump praises 'perfectly executed' strike on Syria
She said nearly a century of global acceptance about not using chemical weapons had been eroded in Douma and Salisbury. US Defence Secretary James Mattis said the air strikes were a "one time shot" to send a strong message to Assad.

The company "seems to believe" that the lawsuit should be pursued by individuals, not as a group, because "damages could amount to billions of dollars", Donato wrote in the ruling.

The suit wants damages of up to $5,000 (£3,482) for every time a person's image was used without their permission. Now, US District Judge James Donato has ruled that it can proceed with class-action status.

A class action is clearly superior to individual proceedings here.

Facebook's immediate response was to have the case transferred to California, the state of its headquarters, as per its user agreement. 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".

The feature is not available to users in most countries, including the United Kingdom - and can be turned off in settings for USA users. Facebook switched the feature off in Europe in 2012 after an audit by Ireland's data watchdog.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NBA Playoffs 2018: Celtics take Game 1 over Bucks in overtime thriller
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:16
The Boston Celtics are shooting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc and 88.9 percent from the free throw line. Tatum was the lone Celtic in double figures at the break, tallying 10 points.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top KY Governor claims "child was sexually assaulted" because of teacher protests
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:01
The day began with a bit of deju vu as massive crowds of teachers inundated the capitol, lobbying for additional school funding. Bevin also dissed protesting teachers for "hangin' out, shoes off. smokin', leavin' trash around, takin' the day off".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top SRH bowlers produce impressive show, restrict KKR to 138/8
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:00
They take on Kings XI Punjab next in Mohali on April 19, while KKR will play Delhi Daredevils at home on April 16. Bhuvneshwar returned to the Sunrisers line-up in place of Sandeep Sharma, who had replaced him in the last game.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Paul Ryan: Kevin McCarthy Is 'Right Person' to Be Next Speaker
Apr 15, 2018 - 00:58
To become the next speaker, McCarthy must win the majority of votes in the chamber, where Republicans now have a majority. Ryan's endorsement, however, gives McCarthy an edge in the leadership contest.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Yodelling Boy Wonder Mason Ramsey Is Apparently Performing at Coachella
Apr 14, 2018 - 10:28
There were countless memes , people trying their hand at it, and even an appearance on The Ellen Show. This is just the first of major performances that are expected to grace the stage this year.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mets C d'Arnaud headed for Tommy John surgery
Apr 14, 2018 - 10:27
Callaway said it is not clear whether d'Arnaud will be back to 100 percent by the start of spring training next February. A lengthy absence was expected for d'Arnaud, who was diagnosed with a partial tear of his right UCL on Wednesday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top This Gmail Will Self Destruct: Confidential Mode Is Coming
Apr 14, 2018 - 10:26
Gmail for the web is getting a fresh redesign that will bring it closer to what its most recent Gmail for mobile app looks like. Google is also reportedly working on a new way to store emails for offline access, following the dilution of Chrome Apps.

James Comey interview: Trump asked if he could disprove prostitute allegations
Apr 14, 2018 - 10:26
The dossier included intelligence suggesting the Kremlin was engaged in an effort to assist Trump's campaign for president. Leaks of Comey's book were released on Thursday and Friday ahead of the book's release in stores and online on Tuesday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The King of Kong Was a Cheater After All
Apr 13, 2018 - 03:07
Almost two months ago, Mitchell's scores were also removed from the leaderboards at Donkey Kong Forum . Now, with Mitchell banned, Twin Galaxies wants to use this moment to begin rebuilding its reputation.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Twitter Ablaze Over BBC Journalist Falling Into Pool During Interview
Apr 13, 2018 - 03:05
He appeared to get down to the first step in the pool and inadvertently moved slightly deeper thinking the floor would be level. However, unbeknown to him there was another step and he fell straight into the pool with his interviewees looking on in shock.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Simmons' 76ers Close In On Third Seed
Apr 13, 2018 - 03:05
The Bucks are 27 with 8.8 three point field goals per game and stand tied for 20 as they shoot 35.6 percent from beyond the arc. The 76ers enter the matchup riding a 15-game winning streak after a 121-113 victory at Atlanta on Tuesday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' trailer released
Apr 12, 2018 - 00:43
But it's a line from newcomer Tobias Beckett ( Woody Harrelson ) that seems to allude to one of the franchise's biggest twists. What are you most excited about? In the meantime, here's everything we know so far.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump promises quick decision on Syria response
Apr 11, 2018 - 05:57
The Syrian government denied it carried out a poison gas attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta suburbs. The British government is also discussing military intervention with its allies in Syria in response to the alleged attack.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Adidas Looks to Level the Playing Field With Equal Pay Day Campaign
Apr 11, 2018 - 05:55
On Tuesday, the average woman's annual income finally "caught up" to what the typical white man earned by December 31. The sector continues to be dominated by men, which is part of the reason that their salaries are higher than women's.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Russian aluminium giant Rusal faces market meltdown after USA sanctions
Apr 10, 2018 - 18:58
The measures affect the seven oligarchs, 12 companies they own or control, as well as 17 senior Russian government officials. The action targeted Russian oligarchs whose companies have wide-ranging involvement in global capital markets.