Facebook Facing Lawsuit After Facial Recognition Scandal

Facebook’s less than stellar privacy practices lead to it being fined a whopping five billion dollars by the Federal Trade Commission, but the social media company is still not out of the woods as more and more regulatory bodies are coming forward to bring Facebook to task over further privacy violations that the social media platform has been committing, one of which involves collecting and storing the biometric data of millions of its users without informing these users nor obtaining permission or consent of any kind from them for this sort of data collection.

This is a pretty old scandal for Facebook, going back to 2015 when a group of plaintiffs in Illinois noticed that Facebook recognized faces from previous photos and gave you tagging suggestions. This lead the plaintiffs to worry about Facebook storing biometric data that it would then use to suggest tags for pictures because of the fact that it recognized the people in these pictures from previous photos.

According to Reuters, Facebook lost the lawsuit and appealed, and the latest update on this case is that Facebook lost the appeal in the 9th circuit court. The appeal was denied unanimously, with the lawyer for the plaintiffs stating that Facebook storing this data is inexcusable especially in the wake of all of the scandals that the social network is going through which are leading the company to rebrand a little bit and place more of an emphasis on user privacy than it did previously.

One of the circuit judges presiding over the case stated that there was a clear privacy violation on Facebook’s part, even though the social media giant still maintains that their biometric data collection policies are up front about the collection of this data and that they give users the option of switching data collection off if they so choose. Facebook will be appealing this decision again, but chances are that the social media giant might just have to give another payout to users that are incensed with how Facebook is using their data.

Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

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