Facebook to faces class-action suit over facial recognition

A team at Wilfrid Laurier University will look at creating guidelines to help children know if a website is credible or not

The decision by a U.S. district judge means the company could be sued by millions of USA users.

Yesterday, a judge in California ruled that in order for Tag Suggestions to work, Facebook has gathered biometric information without users' explicit consent.

Facebook could have to pay billions of dollars in damages in a class action lawsuit over facial recognition, according to various reports.

The facial recognition tool, launched in 2010, suggests names for people it identifies in photos uploaded by users - a function which the plaintiffs claim runs afoul of IL state law on protecting biometric privacy.

It involves the "tag suggestions" technology, which spots users' friends in uploaded photos; the lawsuit says this breaches IL state law.

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Facebook's misuse of their users' biometric information could potentially amount to billions of dollars in damages after a federal judge greenlighted an IL class action suit against the firm's facial recognition feature. That was when the company rolled out "Tag Suggestions", which recognizes and suggests people you can tag in photos.

Facebook could face fines of $1,000 to $5,000 for each time it used a person's biometrics without permission. Not everyone who's had their photos uploaded on the website can be part of the complaint, but the class-action could still have millions of people in the plaintiff's camp.

Baser said "many" websites and apps use Facebook services to target content and ads, including via the social network's Like and Share buttons, when people use their Facebook account to log into another website or app and Facebook ads and measurement tools.

The facial recognition feature isn't now available in the UK.

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". Facebook switched the feature off in Europe in 2012 after an audit by Ireland's data watchdog.

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