Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Facebook hit with lawsuit over facial recognition technology

Facebook hit with lawsuit over facial recognition technology

Whoa! We almost went a full day without some negative news on Facebook breaking.

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. This allows for the consolidation of several suits against the company, all with the same allegations, down to one. A federal judge has just given the go-ahead for three IL users to file a class action lawsuit against the social network over its facial recognition systems.

The class of people in question is Facebook users "in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011", according to the court order. It has been doing this since 2010 so that it can automatically put a name to the face seen in a photograph.

Lawsuit challenges the social-network giant over its gathering of facial recognition data on photos without the consent of users.

June 2011 was the date on which Facebook rolled out its "tag suggestions" feature.

Global Gupta asset seizure in progress
The National Prosecuting Authority released a statement, explaining why the investigation into the Guptas has hit fifth gear. However, there were no Guptas to be seen on the plane.

On its help pages detailing how the technology works, Facebook says that users can control the feature from their settings and it does not take information from photos a user is not tagged in.

The company adds that the data it collects isn't covered by IL law, which explicitly prevents the collection of biometric data such as facial geometry, fingerprints and "voice prints".

Facebook could face fines of $1,000 to $5,000 for each time it used a person's biometrics without permission. The company could end up writing a big check should it lose this case.

US-based dating app "Bumble" has changed its login system and will now allow users to access their profiles by entering phone numbers instead of importing their personal information from Facebook. The company issued a statement through a spokesman saying that the case had no merit, and would fight it vigorously.

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