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Google settles Photos facial recognition lawsuit for $100 million


Facebook isn't the only one compensating Illinois residents over alleged privacy violations. The Verge notes Google has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing the company of violating Illinois' Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA) through Photos' "Face Grouping" feature. The settlement will let you claim between $200 and $400 if you appeared in a picture on Photos between May 1st, 2015 and April 25th, 2022. Google supposedly broke the law by collecting and analyzing faces without appropriate notice, asking for "informed" consent or sharing data retention policies with the public. Face Grouping is meant to help you find photos of given people by detecting faces and automatically organizing them into collections.

Facebook issues $397 checks to Illinois residents as part of class-action lawsuit


More than a million Illinois residents will receive a $397 settlement payment from Facebook this week, thanks to a legal battle over the platform's since-retired photo-tagging system that used facial recognition. It's been nearly seven years since the 2015 class-action lawsuit was first filed, which accused Facebook of breaking a state privacy law that forbids companies from collecting biometric data without informing users. The platform has since faced broad, global criticism for its use of facial recognition tech, and last year Meta halted the practice completely on Facebook and Instagram. But as Vox notes, the company has made no promises to avoid facial recognition in future products. Even though it was first filed in Illinois, the class-action lawsuit eventually wound up on Facebook's home turf -- at the U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Class action suit against Clearview AI cites Illinois law that cost Facebook $550M – TechCrunch


Just two weeks ago Facebook settled a lawsuit alleging violations of privacy laws in Illinois (for the considerable sum of $550 million). Now controversial startup Clearview AI, which has gleefully admitted to scraping and analyzing the data of millions, is the target of a new lawsuit citing similar violations. Clearview made waves earlier this year with a business model seemingly predicated on wholesale abuse of public-facing data on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on. If your face is visible to a web scraper or public API, Clearview either has it or wants it and will be submitting it for analysis by facial recognition systems. Just one problem: That's illegal in Illinois, and you ignore this to your peril, as Facebook found.

Facebook bumps up offer to $650 million to settle facial recognition class action

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Facebook has agreed to pay $650 million – $100 million more than before – to settle a long-running class-action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology. "We are focused on settling as it is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders to move past this matter," Facebook said in a statement. Three Illinois residents sued Facebook under a state law, the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which allows residents who have had their faces scanned for data without written consent to sue. The lawsuit, which was certified as a class action, involved gathering facial data for a Facebook feature that suggests the name of people in users' photos and could have exposed Facebook to billions in damages. The problem with AI? Study says it's too white and male, calls for more women, minorities Facial recognition software is courting more controversy in the wake of nationwide protests over police brutality.

Facebook pays $550m settlement for breaking Illinois data protection law

The Guardian

Facebook has settled a lawsuit over facial recognition technology, agreeing to pay $550m (£419m) over accusations it had broken an Illinois state law regulating the use of biometric details. The settlement was quietly disclosed in the company's quarterly results, released on Wednesday evening, which showed record revenues overall at the company, but also surging costs. It is one of the largest payouts for a privacy breach in US history, a marker of the strength of Illinois's nation-leading privacy laws. The New York Times, which first reported the settlement, noted that the sum "dwarfed" the $380m penalty the credit bureau Equifax agreed to pay over a much larger customer data breach in 2017. Illinois heavily regulates the use of biometric identifiers, prohibiting the collection and storing of biometric information without consent from individuals.

Class-action lawsuit filed against controversial Clearview AI startup ZDNet


The secretive startup was exposed last week in an explosive New York Times report which revealed how Clearview was selling access to "faceprints" and facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies across the US. The startup claimed it could identify a person based on a single photo, revealing their real name, general location, and other identifiers. The report sparked outrage among US citizens, who had photos collected and added to the Clearview AI database without their consent. The Times reported that the company collected more than three billion photos, from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Venmo, and others. This week, the company was hit with the first lawsuit in the aftermath of the New York Times exposé.

$35B face data lawsuit against Facebook will proceed – TechCrunch


Facebook just lost a battle in its war to stop a $35 billion class action lawsuit regarding alleged misuse of facial recognition data in Illinois. Today it was denied its request for an en banc hearing before the full slate of ninth circuit judges that could have halted the case. Now the case will go to trial unless the Supreme Court intercedes. The suit alleges that Illinois citizens didn't consent to having their uploaded photos scanned with facial recognition and weren't informed of how long the data would be saved when the mapping started in 2011. Facebook could face $1,000 to $5,000 in penalties per user for 7 million people, which could sum to a maximum of $35 billion.

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


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.

Biometric Data Regulations: Do Your Insurance Policies Cover This Emerging Risk? JD Supra


Over the past several years, commercial use of biometric data has become increasingly prevalent. In response, several states have adopted biometric data privacy legislation. Consequently, companies that rely on biometric data face new regulatory risks, in addition to increased legal exposure to individual and class action lawsuits. In fact, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed certification of a class action alleging Facebook's face-scanning practices violate Illinois' biometric privacy law, finding that the class alleged sufficiently concrete injuries based on Facebook's alleged use of facial recognition technology without users' consent to establish standing. Insurance policies currently available on the market, including cyber insurance policies, may not adequately cover these risks.

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.