Facebook Offers $650 Million to Settle Facial Recognition Lawsuit

By B.N. Frank

Illinois has a state law that protects residents’ biometric information. Five years ago a federal lawsuit was filed against Facebook for violating this law by using facial recognition technology in its “tag suggestion” services. Earlier this week a judge decided that $550M was not enough to settle this case so the company has agreed to pay $650M.

From MSN:

A $550 million dollar settlement was not enough for Illinois Facebook users who allegedly had their privacy rights violated. Instead, the social media giant has agreed to pay $650 million.

Illinois Facebook users could be eligible for up to $400 as part of the new settlement in the class action suit, depending on how many people file claims, according to court documents filed this week in a California federal court.

The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed in Illinois five years ago that alleges the social media giant violated a state law protecting residents’ biometric information. Biometric information can include data from facial, fingerprint and iris scans.

Illinois has one of the strictest biometric privacy laws in the country, mandating that companies collecting such information obtain prior consent from consumers, detail how they’ll use it and specify how long the information will be kept. The law also allows private citizens, rather than just government entities, to file lawsuits over the issue.

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Regardless, Facebook yuckiness continues. Despite the high cost to settle this lawsuit, the company recently filed a patent for a system that hides audio clips in TV ads in order to trigger phones to start recording background noise. The company is also capitalizing on the pandemic by promoting their Virtual Reality (VR) services despite serious health risks and warnings with the technology, especially to children.

Activist Post Recommended Book: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives.

Image: Anthony Freda Art

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