To settle a class-action lawsuit that has been ongoing since 2015, Facebook has agreed to pay $550 million regarding its use of facial recognition technology. The lawsuit alleged that Facebook’s initial version of its Tag Suggestions tool, which scans a user’s face in photos and offers suggestions about who that person might be, stored biometric data without user consent, violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
In 2018, Facebook began more transparently explaining its facial recognition tech to users, pointing people to a settings page where they could disable it. Last year, the company decided to make facial recognition on the platform opt-in only, after years of turning it on by default for all users.
A federal judge ruled in favor of making the facial recognition case a class-action lawsuit in 2018. Facebook appealed that ruling, but lost the appeal in a 3-0 court decision in August of last year. Facebook’s $550 million settlement will be paid out to eligible Illinois users and to cover the plaintiffs’ legal fees. While $550 million may seem like a large settlement, it’s essentially pocket change for Facebook, which reported this week increased revenues of $21 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019.
Kade Crawford makes some strong points in her TedxTalk on “Why Face Surveillance Must be Banned.” As Facial Recognition technology becomes more widespread and available in everyday life, it takes into account how privacy issues and errors can cause unintended consequences. Check it out – it’s worth the watch.
RapidFunds provides post-settlement funding to plaintiffs’ attorneys with fees in the settled cases associated with facial recognition class action lawsuits. The company also provides case cost funding to plaintiffs’ attorneys for their current and future case expenses in privacy-related class action litigation. Interested plaintiffs’ attorneys can fill out the application below. For more information about post-settlement funding, case cost finance, and the funding process call 888-927-9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.