Facebook class action lawsuit over facial recognition OK'd by judge

Former Cambridge Analytica director Brittany Kaiser made the claims at a Westminster committee

Last month, Cook County sued Facebook and Cambridge Analytica -- the data firm at the center of a controversy regarding privacy and data collection - for violating an IL anti-fraud law when it gave users' data to third parties without permission.

Facebook could have to pay billions of dollars in damages in a class action lawsuit over facial recognition, according to various reports.

A California judge had ruled that giant tech company Facebook, must face a class action suit against the firm over the use of facial recognition technology, which alleges that Facebook collected biometric information without users' explicit consent.

U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco made the ruling after Facebook requested the case be heard on the company's home turf.

Ms Kaiser made the claims as she was questioned by SNP MP Brendan O'Hara
Ms Kaiser made the claims as she was questioned by SNP MP Brendan O’Hara

In June 2011, Facebook introduced a feature in certain countries - the USA being one of them - giving users the ability to automatically tag people in their photographs.

The lawsuit was originally filed back in 2015 by users in IL, accusing the social network of violating a law in the state that prohibits the collection of biometric info. The company issued a statement through a spokesman saying that the case had no merit, and would fight it vigorously. The case goes back to 2015, and under the Illinois Act, Facebook can be fined $1,000 to $5,000 each time a person's image is used without permission. If the suit is successful, every person in the class-action could receive a payout. 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.

Facebook returns is now available to customers returning online purchases to ASOS, Coast, M&S, Mennace, Missguided, Oasis, PrettyLittleThing, River Island, TM Lewin, The Outnet, Warehouse, Wiggle, Mr Porter, New Look and Shoeaholics via Doddle. Facebook switched the feature off in Europe in 2012 after an audit by Ireland's data watchdog.


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