Facebook Ordered to Face Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition

Facebook Ordered to Face Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition

US District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that the plaintiffs' claims are "sufficiently cohesive" to allow for a class action lawsuit to resolve the dispute.

A spokesperson, however, told Reuters that "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously".

Nimesh Patel started his suit against Facebook back in 2015 for violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which protected citizens data by requiring informed consent to gather biometric information, including about their faces.

The class action will consist of users in IL "for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011", he said.

He said the firm is making changes to better protect user data.

The new feature in the location-based app, which has 30 million-plus user base, would be launch on Tuesday, Wired reported late on Monday.

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A federal judge ruled Monday that Facebook must face a class action lawsuit brought by site users in IL who aren't down with the use of facial recognition technology. 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.

The company also filed a patent in 2014 for technology that lets it provide certain types of content to users based off of reading their emotions with a camera in their computer or phone.

Monday's ruling will likely impact the Silicon Valley giant, which has already lost billions of dollars in wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where some 87 million Facebook users had their personal data "mishandled" and shared with a third party.

The law in question is called the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which offers users protection over security methods used by websites, including iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scans of hands.

The decision comes days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg faced intensive questioning by United States lawmakers over the company's collection and use of user data.

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