Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg just had their ears boxed by the 9th US circuit Court of Appeals regarding privacy concerns related to Facebook’s facial recognition technology. The decision by the court opens the possibility of a massive Facebook class action lawsuit that might cost it billions of dollars.
Facebook Collecting Data? Say It Isn’t So!
Back in 2015, number of Facebook users in Illinois filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming it violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. You know the “tag suggestion” feature on those Facebook photos of yours? It turns out that naming the people in the photos violates that Illinois law.
The lawsuit alleges that, since facial recognition is considered biometric information, that Facebook broke the law by allowing users to tag people and then collecting that biometric information.
Specifically, the plaintiffs assert that Facebook did not disclose it was collecting and storing that data, nor that it had users consent for it. Facebook denied the allegations.
According to the three judges who voted unanimously to let this class action lawsuit proceed in California, the crux of the plaintiff’s argument hinges on whether or not Facebook “collects and stores scans of face geometry”. They agreed that it does.
Interestingly, Google had a similar case dismissed last year.
Facebook Stock Won’t Blink An Eye
There are a few important items regarding this case that are worth noting.
The first question is to what extent this class action will affect Facebook stock. Although Facebook stock didn’t move very much on this particular news, there is the potential for a class-action case to result in a payment of $1000 for each negligent violation, and upto $5,000 for…