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Facebook hit with class action suit over facial recognition tool

Facebook hit with class action suit over facial recognition tool

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.

Schroepfer said most of the affected users are in the USA, and added: "We will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica".

Facebook has issued a statement saying it continues to believe the case has no merit, and that it will continue to fight it "vigorously".

The biometric data was collected through the use of the tag suggestions technology that helps users spot their friends in uploaded photos.

"Consequently, the case will proceed with a class consisting of Facebook users located in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011", Donato said. "If a face signature falls within the boundary describes by a user's face template, Facebook suggests tagging the user", it said.

A federal judge has ruled that a class action lawsuit including millions of Facebook users can proceed with their claims that the social media firm violated an IL law relating to the collection and storage of biometric data without users consent, according to Bloomberg.

Three Illinois Facebook users are arguing that Facebook has broken the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act, NPR reported. 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.

Executives from Facebook will appear before an Oireachtas committee later today to consider the use of social media and its potential influence on previous and future elections and referenda.

The European Union's digital chief is also slated to meet with the embattled CEO amid increasing criticisms from activists in Europe that the company is engaging in manipulative and deceitful conduct in order to impose facial surveillance on European users.

Facebook has been under intense scrutiny over fake news being delivered through the platform and the allegations that data analytics and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica mined the data of 80 million users without consent.

Zuckerberg was questioned on Capitol Hill last week, though has demurred about whether the country needs federal regulations to protect privacy, which would likely include elements of Illinois' law.

Folks can, of course, turn off the service via Facebook's privacy settings.