Facebook facing class action suit over facial recognition tech

17 April, 2018, 18:47 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Ally Zacek | The DePaulia

A Facebook spokesperson said the company is "reviewing the ruling" and continues to believe "the case has no merit".

It involves the "tag suggestions" technology, which spots users' friends in uploaded photos.

Users from the state of IL filed the suit claiming the technology - which is not available in the United Kingdom - breaches state laws on biometric data privacy.

Facebook only uses its face-scanning tech in certain countries. Facebook successfully requested that the case be moved from IL to San Francisco and its defense appears to be that the IL law is all about the use of biometric data such as fingerprints, retina and iris scans, voice prints, and scans of peoples' hands and faces.

Over the last few weeks, Facebook has drawn intense criticism from users and governments globally over a number of issues, ranging from false news on the platform to information of over 80 million users being mined by data analytics and political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica.

Folks can, of course, turn off the service via Facebook's privacy settings.

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What does the facial recognition do? As far back as 2015, The Anti Media reported on a lawsuit involving a man who, despite not having a Facebook account, was fighting to get his "faceprint" from the company.

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".

Facebook is actively collecting, storing, and using - without providing notice, obtaining informed written consent or publishing data retention policies - the biometrics of its users and unwitting non-users ...

Although no federal law exists to govern the commercial use and collection of biometrics, IL and Texas have passed laws created to protect the public.

Facebook might think it's facing enough problems right now, but the company's about to run into another privacy-related headache.

Facebook can probably recognize that its users' faces are angry.

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