Facebook must pay 650 million for privacy lawsuit

The case involves a privacy lawsuit over its facial recognition tool.

In 2015, a group of people sued Facebook in court in Illinois, United States, since its “tag suggestions” tool used facial recognition technology to scan photos that had been previously uploaded, and based on the basis of data that linked images with names, it could automatically suggest the names of the people who appeared in the new photo to be uploaded.

This database created on the basis of the scanning of photographs of people "uploaded" previously was made without taking into account the need for consent on the part of the users. This under the premise that all personal data processing must be informed and consented to by the owners of the personal data. The main thing is that people can have control over their data.

In the specific case, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Law regulated facial recognition figures, fingerprinting and other biometric technologies as supposed subjects of consent on the part of the owner of the personal data in question.

Regarding the case, attorney Jay Edelson stated: “biometrics is one of the main battlefields, along with geolocation, which will define our privacy rights for the next generation"

At the beginning of last year, Facebook proposed a settlement for USD 550 million, however, the federal district judge, James Donato, pointed out that that was not a sufficient sum. Last Friday, the payment of 650 million dollars was agreed to the users who alleged the creation and storage of a database with their information and without their consent, he said. Cnet.

This is one of the largest privacy lawsuit settlements. And, without a doubt, it will be a reference in the market on the care of the treatment of personal data.

Finally, Facebook claimed to be pleased to have reached an agreement on this matter that “is the best for our community and our shareholders".

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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.


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