Facebook May Be Fined Billions Due to Tag Suggestions Feature

More privacy violation charges against the social media monolith.

Tech
5,851 Hypes 18 Comments

Though Facebook is still dogged by its Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company is set to go to court for yet another purported privacy violation. A federal judge has ruled that the social media company must go to court and battle a class action lawsuit alleging that the site’s facial recognition technology may violate Illinois law.

Centering around the Tag Suggestions feature introduced by Facebook in 2011, the suit seeks compensation for its plaintiffs based on Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act. The Act demands that companies seek explicit consent from users before collecting biometric data, which includes facial recognition profiles. Facebook’s Tag Suggestions tool, which can be deactivated by users, attempts to detect faces in uploaded photos and compare a generated “face signature” based on “a particular image of a face” to a “face template” database stored on company servers to search for a match. If it detects a match, the site will suggest a tag.

In response to the suit, Facebook stated, “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously.” A court date has not yet been announced.

Meanwhile, in response to the widespread coverage and discussion surrounding Mark Zuckerberg’s court appearance, the Facebook founder and CEO saw his stock rise by over $3 billion USD.

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The Verge
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