Facebook may be fined billions of dollars for face recognition technology

On August 6, Facebook was dismissed by the court to cancel the class action involving the social network collecting user face data.

According to Business Insider, the lawsuit started in 2015, when Illinois (US) residents accused Facebook of violating the state’s Biometric Information Security Act. With tagging suggestions (Tag Suggestions), Facebook can recognize each face in a photo and suggest users “tag” friends. Features built on data sources are photos that have been posted on social networks before.

In its appeal plan, Facebook believes that facial recognition is always open to users, and allows them to turn the feature on and off at any time. This social network representative also asked the court to conduct lawsuits alone, because the above allegations came from only a few individuals.

However, the federal judge dismissed the proposal, saying that Illinois people could fully conduct a class action.

Shawn Williams, the plaintiff’s lawyer in the lawsuit, stressed that face data was extremely sensitive, once it was violated, nothing could afford. “You can change your Social Security card, change your credit card number, but you can’t change your face,” he said.

If Facebook loses the case, they may have to compensate tens of billions of dollars. Illinois State Biometric Information Security Act stipulates the amount of compensation for an unintentional violation is $ 1,000, intentional violations or serious consequences can amount to $ 5,000. It is estimated that the number of plaintiffs in this class action can be up to 7 million.

In July, Facebook also received a record penalty of $ 5 billion from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after the scandal exposed data of tens of millions of users.