Facebook faces Class Action suit over facial recognition on photos

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A federal judge ruled that consumers in IL could proceed with a class action lawsuit over the facial recognition technology that helps Facebook power its Tag Suggestions tool. 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.

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.

Not everyone who's had their photos uploaded on the website can be part of the complaint, but the class-action could still have millions of people in the plaintiff's camp.

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US District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that a class action was the most efficient way to resolve the dispute over facial templates.

Facebook only uses its face-scanning tech in certain countries.

Boom, an independent digital journalism initiative certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, will review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy.

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This isn't the only current lawsuit against Facebook coming out of IL. The organizations are calling on the FTC to reopen a 2009 investigation of Facebook due to recent revelations regarding Cambridge Analytica accessing millions of Facebook users private data.

"So how does Facebook know that a face in a photo belongs to someone who hasn't consented to facial recognition?" On Facebook's help pages, the company says the face templates are made from information about the similarities in every photo the user has been tagged in.

In a statement, the spokesperson said: "We recently began to preview some of the changes we're making in preparation for the General Data Protection Regulation". This is the date that Facebook launched the Tag Suggestions feature.

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