Facebook To Pay $550M For Storing Facial Recognition Data Without Consent

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According to Lauren Gard, a spokesperson for one of the plaintiffs' law firms, affected IL residents could receive $200 or more in the settlement. The settlement amount is large indeed, but a small fraction of the $35 billion maximum the company could have faced.

This is the second major settlement from Facebook in six months; a seemingly enormous $5 billion settlement of FTC violations was announced over the summer, but it's actually a bit of a joke.

Facebook shares fell as trading opened Thursday, on the heels of the company's fourth-quarter earnings call, which showed growth but revealed high expenses - including a $550 million tentative settlement in IL.

Tag Suggest also landed the company in hot water in the European Union, where it was disabled a year after it was introduced following a report from the Irish data protection commissioner.

The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook collected biometric information in the form of face prints, for the goal of supporting its "face tagging" feature, without their permission in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Finally, Facebook lets you take control of your shared data
Clear History - The option disconnects the data from the account but does not prevent Facebook from receiving future data. On the next screen, you are provided with a list of all the websites and apps that had shared your data with Facebook.

Google is facing similar suits under the IL law.

The backstory: The lawsuit was filed in 2015 when Facebook was accused of collecting images of users' facial recognition data without disclosure. "Here, Illinois enacted a statute not to thwart innovation, but to protect individuals' privacy".

In August, in a 3-0 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected Facebook's effort to undo the class action suit. "Similar conduct is actionable at common law".

Mark Zuckerberg has pledged better protections for Facebook users after the social media giant agreed to pay a $550 million settlement Wednesday over a lawsuit that claimed it illegally collected millions of users' biometric data without their consent. Facebook has denied any wrongdoing. "We hope and expect that other companies will follow Facebook's lead and pay significant attention to the importance of our biometric information", he said.

The case quickly evolved into a major test of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, known as BIPA, and its provisions allowing users to sue, known as a private right of action, an idea that consumer-advocates and regulators around the country increasingly tout as a critical way for people to seek justice for major digital abuses.

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