Facebook Settles Facial Recognition Lawsuit

Facebook has added to its expenses with the news that it has opted to settle a facial recognition lawsuit.

The social networking giant had been sued back in 2015 when Illinois users accused Facebook of violating that state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act in collecting biometric data.

The lawsuit began because of Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” feature, which allowed users to recognize their Facebook friends from previously uploaded photos.

Facial recognition

Facebook had already suspended facial recognition for European users eight years ago after the practice was deemed illegal, because it stored biometric data without users’ explicit consent.

But it failed to disable for US users, and the lawsuit was filed in 2015 in Illinois.

That is because Illinois’ biometric privacy law provides for damages of $1,000 for each negligent violation and $5,000 for each intentional or reckless violation.

And that was bad news for Facebook, as it was reported that the class action lawsuit could include up to 7 million Facebook users.

In August last year, Facebook failed in its attempt to quash the class action lawsuit.

That ruling potentially exposed the social networking giant to hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages to the Illinois users who brought the case.

Lawsuit settlement

And this is now the case after Reuters reported that Facebook had opted to settle case.

It reported that on Wednesday the social networking giant reached a $550 million settlement in principle.

In a statement, law firms Edelson, Robbins Geller and Labaton Sucharow reportedly said the plaintiffs will ask the district court to give preliminary approval for the settlement.

Quiz: Think you know all about Facebook?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Twitter Confirms ‘Super Follow’ Option, For Paid Content

Money maker. Super follow feature coming soon on Twitter, will allow users to receive tips…

3 days ago

Windows 10 ‘Sun Valley’ Promises Major Overhaul

OS refresh. Major update to six year old Windows 10 operating system, dubbed Sun Valley,…

3 days ago

Oxford University Confirms Hack Of Biology Lab Studying Covid-19

NCSC investigates after hackers compromised one of the world’s top biology labs at Oxford University,…

3 days ago

Consumer Group Which? Targets Qualcomm In Legal Action

Legal action against Qualcomm could result in 29 million UK 4G smartphone owners being entitled…

4 days ago

Google To Change Review Process Of Scientist Work

Executives at troubled Google AI research unit say they are working to retain trust, after…

4 days ago

NHS Challenged Over Data Contract With Palantir

Contract between NHS and data mining firm Palantir now at centre of lawsuit filed by…

4 days ago