Facebook faces class-action suit over facial recognition technology

Facebook could have to pay 'billions' in damages in class action lawsuit over facial recognition

Facebook could have to pay 'billions' in damages in class action lawsuit over facial recognition

Plaintiffs claim that Facebook violated BIPA by collecting and storing IL users' biometric data without prior notice or consent through its "Tag Suggestions" tool-a feature launched in 2011 that prompts users to identify friends in pictures uploaded to the social media site.

A judge in San Francisco has ruled that class-action lawsuit against tech-giant Facebook can proceed in the USA state of IL in response to allegations that the site has been using facial recognition technology to identify users online without their knowledge or consent.

The plaintiffs, a group of Facebook users in IL, say Facebook collects and stores the biometric data of users as a part of a "face template" without prior notice or consent.

Facebook users sued in 2015, alleging violations of an IL state law about the privacy of biometric information.

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 says that it is reviewing Monday's ruling that certifies the class action.

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

The ruling is another blow to Facebook which has been facing growing privacy concerns in recent weeks.

In the worst data leak in company history, Facebook initially reported that 50 million of its users' private information was used without consent by United Kingdom -based Cambridge Analytica for critical political voting in that country and the U.S.

In yet another potentially damaging revelation for the online data giant, a former director at Cambridge Analytica, Brittney Kaiser submitted in her evidence to the UK Government's inquiry into the data mining scandal that likely far more than 87 million users' accounts and their data have been compromised.

Facebook sources said last week CEO Mark Zuckerberg could testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 10.

On Monday, the company clarified in a blog post how it tracks people when they're not directly on the app or site.

In return, the social media giant helps those third-parties display relevant ads or receive analytics on people using their service.

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