Ruling in San Francisco, Judge James Donato said the claim meets class-action status, and allowed the class to include Facebook users in IL whose facial recognition algorithms were stored after June 7, 2011. Specifically, Facebook has created, collected and stored over a billion "face templates" (or "face prints") - highly detailed geometric maps of the face - from over a billion individuals, millions of whom reside in the State of IL. The lawsuit is being filed over an IL state law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act. It's a hot-button issue, as sweeping new European Union privacy legislation requires Facebook and other tech companies to get explicit permission for using the technology.
According to BBC News, the technology involves Facebook's "tag suggestions", which can identify a user's friends in an image. The social network turned off facial recognition in Europe in 2012, the website says.
If users click "Manage Data Settings", they're shown an additional prompt given more detail about the tech's benefits, mainly stopping impersonators and helping blind people to understand what's depicted in photos.
If the lawsuit goes ahead, every member of the IL group could be entitled to compensation, potentially costing Facebook billions of dollars.
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Monday's ruling will likely impact the Silicon Valley giant, which has already lost billions of dollars in wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where some 87 million Facebook users had their personal data "mishandled" and shared with a third party.
Bumble's privacy page notes a laundry list of information the service "may collect" via Facebook. The company says that its "face templates" are not related to the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act.
What does the facial recognition do? In addition, Facebook says that users can opt out of the feature.
"Facebook should suspend further deployment of facial recognition pending the outcome of the FTC investigation", EPIC President Marc Rotenberg said. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously", the company said in a statement.