Facebook to face privacy class action over facial recognition dispute

A US federal appeals court rejected Facebook effort against a class action lawsuit sustaining that it illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without explicit consent.

The dispute exposes the company to a potential billions of dollars fine for damages to the Illinois users who brought the case to the court.

In July, the company agreed to pay a USD $5 billion fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe.

The dispute began in 2015, when users from the State of Illinois accused the company of violating that State’s Biometric Information Privacy Act when collecting biometric data.

The company allegedly accomplished this through the “Tag Suggestions” feature, which allowed its users to recognise friends from previously uploaded images.

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

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