Facebook to Face Angry Illinoisans Over Facial Recognition Tech

Facebook to Face Angry Illinoisans Over Facial Recognition Tech

A federal judge ruled Monday that Facebook must face a class action lawsuit brought by site users in IL who aren't down with the use of facial recognition technology.

It's the latest privacy controversy for Facebook; last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent two days answering questions on Capitol Hill over the Cambridge Analytica user-data scandal. 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.

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.

This law protects people over information such as fingerprints, retina scans, and facial recognition.

That is the date when Facebook launched "Tag Suggestions", a feature that suggests people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo.

The class of people in question is made up of Facebook users "in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after 7 June 2011", according to the court order.

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Cambridge University researcher Jennifer Cobbe pointed out Monday that Facebook users in Europe are confronted with a page asking for consent for facial recognition, but that the first page has no option for "no" and it is only possible to deny access by navigating through a series of settings menus.

This isn't the only current lawsuit against Facebook coming out of IL.

Beyond saying that Facebook gave users no notice, the suit also charges that Facebook did not give those on its platform any information about how long the data would be held, also required by the BIPA.

The study found 17% said they deleted the Facebook app from their phones, 11% said they deleted it from other devices, and another 9% said they deleted their accounts completely due to concerns regarding privacy.

In December 2017 Facebook announced that users would be notified if a picture of them was uploaded by someone else, even if they hadn't been tagged in it.

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