Facebook class action lawsuit over facial recognition OK'd by judge


Facebook says that it is reviewing Monday's ruling that certifies the class action.

The organizations say that Facebook is deceptively selling the facial recognition technology to users by encouraging them to identify people in photographs.

Other organizations participating in the complaint against Facebook include The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, The Center for Digital Democracy, The Constitutional Alliance, Consumer Action, The Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, The Cyber Privacy Project, Defending Rights & Dissent, The Government Accountability Project, The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Patient Privacy Rights, The Southern Poverty Law Center, and The U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The certification of a class of users is a key step in brining a class action. But the lawsuit alleges the feature violates Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, a 2008 law that prohibits companies from collecting and storing the biometric data of people without their consent.

The class action will consist of users in IL "for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011", he said.

He is also due to meet European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip in San Francisco this week, reports Bloomberg.

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"So how does Facebook know that a face in a photo belongs to someone who hasn't consented to facial recognition?"

The feature suggests who might be present in uploaded photos, based on an existing database of faces.

In its blogpost, the company said it believes that "once a story is rated as false, we have been able to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent, and thereby, improve accuracy of information on Facebook and reduce misinformation".

"If you've never been tagged in a photo on Facebook or have untagged yourself in all photos of you on Facebook, then we do not have this summary information for you".

Carolina Milanesi, the author of the study, found that when asked on how Facebook can regain user trust, rather than getting more tools and settings, a lot of the users are asking for the company's transparency.