Facebook faces Class Action suit over facial recognition on photos

17 April, 2018, 20:24 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Opinion: I'm not going to delete Facebook, and here's why

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.

Facebook has regularly encouraged users to tag themselves, friends and family members in uploaded photos and has then stored this information, the social media company then uses a program called DeepFace to match this with other photos of the tagged person.

Judge James Donato ruled the claims by IL residents Nimesh Patel, Adam Pezen, and Carlo Licata were "sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis". It alleges Facebook is in violation of an IL state law that prohibits the collection of biometric data without written consent.

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

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He said the firm is making changes to better protect user data.

A California judge on Monday gave the green light to a three-year-old case claiming the social network violated IL law.

Launched in 2014, "Bumble" initially allowed Facebook-based information to speed up and simplify the process of registration and logging in of new users.

The technology at the heart of all this is Facebook's "tag suggestion" feature, which suggests who may be in a photo based on an existing database of faces.

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Also on Monday, Facebook confirmed that it collected information from people beyond their social network use.

Last week, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill about the data scandal, the company's data collection practices and the need for new regulation.

The company adds that the data it collects isn't covered by IL law, which explicitly prevents the collection of biometric data such as facial geometry, fingerprints and "voice prints".

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.

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