A US court rejected Facebook’s request to quash a $35 billion class-action suit for its alleged misuse of facial recognition data in Illinois.
A panel of three Judges of the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco rejected Facebook’s request, and the case will now be decided unless the Supreme Court intervenes, TechCrunch reported on Friday.
“The lawsuit alleges that Illinois citizens did not consent to their scanned photos being scanned with facial recognition and were not informed of how long the data will be kept when the mapping started in 2011,” he said. adds the report.
Facebook could face penalties of $1,000 to $5,000 per user for seven million people, which could reach a maximum of $35 billion. Facebook launched facial recognition technology in 2011 by asking users to indicate whether the people tagged in the photos were friends they knew.
“Facebook’s face recognition technology violated the BIPA (Illinois Biometric Information Information) law,” the court document said.
“Violations of BIPA’s procedures have caused material harm or a significant risk of undermining these privacy interests,” he added. BIPA provides $1,000 for each negligence offense and $5,000 for each intentional or reckless offense. The suit could force Facebook to face billions of dollars in damages if it ends up losing the legal battle.
“Facebook has always talked to people about its use of facial recognition technology and given them control over its use, we are looking at our options and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously,” Facebook said in a statement.