Use Instagram? Facebook Is Being Sued for Allegedly Harvesting Biometric Data of 100+ Million Users

By B.N. Frank

Many Facebook users aren’t aware how much the company collects and shares personal user data without users’ knowledge or consent (see 1, 2, 3). This practice is sometimes referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.” The company is now being sued again for this.

From Apple Insider:

Facebook is being sued for allegedly collecting the biometric data of Instagram users or people who appear in photos on the platform without their consent.

In the complaint, lodged Monday in a Redwood City, California state court, Facebook is accused of “collecting, storing and profiting” from the biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users. More specifically, that biometric data relates to facial recognition technology.

The lawsuit claims that Instagram uses a face-tagging tool that use facial recognition to create “face templates,” which are then stored in Facebook databases. It goes on to add that Instagram uses this tool automatically without obtaining a user’s consent, even if the people in the images don’t have Instagram accounts themselves.

“Once Facebook captures its Instagram users’ protected biometrics, it uses them to bolster its facial recognition abilities across all of its products, including the Facebook application, and shares this information among various entities,” the lawsuit reads.

Read full article

The good news is that Facebook users can adjust their privacy settings to prevent the company from collecting and sharing so much of their information. Of course, many if not all of the same privacy issues exist with other social media platforms and apps too. Unfortunately other businesses have embraced “Surveillance Capitalism” practices as well. This includes utility companies. In fact, legislation was introduced in California to prevent utility companies from selling customer data to ICE.

Activist Post Recommended Book: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

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

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