Facebook loses facial recognition appeal, must face privacy class action

The Japan Times

NEW YORK – A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Facebook Inc.'s effort to undo a class action lawsuit claiming that it illegally collected and stored biometric data on millions of users without their consent. The 3-0 decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco over Facebook's facial recognition technology exposes the company to billions of dollars in potential damages to the Illinois users who brought the case. It came as the social media company faces broad criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices. Last month, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe. "This biometric data is so sensitive that if it is compromised, there is simply no recourse," Shawn Williams, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the class action, said in an interview.


Facebook facial recognition lawsuit can proceed, says US court

The Guardian

A US federal appeals court has rejected Facebook's effort to undo a class action lawsuit alleging it illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent using facial recognition technology. The 3-0 decision from the ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco exposes the company to billions of dollars in potential damages paid out to the Illinois users who brought the case. The decision came as the social media company faces broad criticism from American politicians, lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices. Last month, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5bn (£4bn) fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data privacy investigation. "This biometric data is so sensitive that if it is compromised, there is simply no recourse," Shawn Williams, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the class action, said in an interview.


Facebook Faces Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Its Use Of Facial Recognition Data

NPR Technology

Cardboard cutouts of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington as he testified before a Senate panel last week. Cardboard cutouts of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington as he testified before a Senate panel last week. A federal judge in California has ruled that Facebook can be sued in a class-action lawsuit brought by users in Illinois who say the social network improperly used facial recognition technology on their uploaded photographs. The plaintiffs are three Illinois Facebook users who sued under a state law that says a private entity such as Facebook can't collect and store a person's biometric facial information without their written consent. The law, known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act, also says that information that uniquely identifies an individual is, in essence, their property.


Facebook To Face Privacy Lawsuit Over Photo-Tagging Feature

International Business Times

Facebook users who felt that their privacy was violated by the website's use of facial recognition software -- which it uses to help identify and tag people in photographs -- won an early legal victory Thursday when a San Francisco federal judge rejected a request by the internet company to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its collection of biometric information. "The court accepts as true plaintiffs' allegations that Facebook's face recognition technology involves a scan of face geometry that was done without plaintiffs' consent," U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled. Three Illinois residents filed separate lawsuits -- that were later combined -- under the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, which allows companies to be sued for failing to get consumers' consent before collecting or storing their biometric information, which includes "faceprints" used by Facebook (and also Google) for identifying people in photographs. Facebook introduced its face-recognition feature in 2010. California, where Facebook is based, does not have a law regulating the use of biometrics.


Facebook loses facial recognition appeal, must face privacy class action - Reuters

#artificialintelligence

The 3-0 decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco over Facebook's facial recognition technology exposes the company to billions of dollars in potential damages to the Illinois users who brought the case. It came as the social media company faces broad criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices. Last month, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe. "This biometric data is so sensitive that if it is compromised, there is simply no recourse," Shawn Williams, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the class action, said in an interview. "It's not like a Social Security card or credit card number where you can change the number.