Facebook Will Pay $550 Million to Settle Class-Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition Tech

Facebook Will Pay $550 Million to Settle Class-Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition Tech


Facebook will have to compensate more than a half-million dollars for settling a class-action lawsuit about its use of face recognition technology. The social network giant has announced the news while declaring its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The clearance amount is huge indeed, but a small part of an overall $35 billion Facebook could have met. Members of the class, particularly Facebook users from Illinois between June-2011 to June 2015, may receive as high as $200 each. But, the compensation amount relies on some aspects. Well, Facebook users belonging to the group will get a notification after the court approves the settlement.

The social network giant is facing the case from 2015. Facebook has a Tag Suggestions tool that scans the face of a user in photos and provides recommendations regarding who that person probably is. The court case claimed that the initial version of the Tag Suggestions tool saved biometric information without user permission. As a result, the company has breached the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act through the effort. Later, in 2018, Facebook started explaining its face recognition technology more openly. It also directed users to a setting page, which included an option to disable the tech. Apart from this, in 2019, the company announced it could make face recognition as an opt-in only.

A federal court judgment is in the oblige of making the facial recognition instance a class action lawsuit in 2018. Facebook had challenged that decision but lost the case in a 3-0 court judgment in August 2019. Now, the social network company has to pay the settlement amount to eligible users from Illinois. The reimbursement amount will also include the legal fees of the plaintiffs. Also, the projected statement would necessitate Facebook to achieve approval from the Illinois users in the future for such acts. Well, it is not the first time plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Before this, a plaintiff charged Google in Chicago for supposedly including her images in Google Photos and scanning her face without consent.

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