Facebook has access to a significant number of faces in the world in their database, and the allegations of misuse of this data has been doing the rounds for a while now. Despite Facebook’s repeated attempts to refute these claims in Illinois, the company is facing a massive, $35 Billion class action lawsuit against alleged misuse.
The court has refused Facebook’s call for an en banc hearing to prevent any further legal actions on the issue, and the matter will now proceed for trial, unless the Supreme Court intervenes.
The feature of facial recognition was introduced in Facebook in 2011, when the system could identify the people tagged in a picture through this technology. As per allegations, the people of Illinois didn’t provide their consent to have their photos scanned with facial recognition, and were not informed as to how long this data will remain stored. Facebook may suffer a fine of $1000 to $5000 per citizen, which sums up to $35 Billion for the 7 million people.
The appeal from Facebook was denied by a three judge panel. One of the judges stated that there is a possibility that the facial recognition data could be used to spot a person in surveillance video, or open the bio-metric lock of a cell phone.
As per a spokesperson;
Facebook has always told people about its use of face recognition technology and given them control over whether it’s used for them. We are reviewing our options and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously.
The case was filed in 2015, and since then Facebook has done everything to block it.
Though this massive fine is less than the $55 Billion which Facebook made last year, the hearing may be backed up with new privacy laws which can be further concerning for the company. With the $35 Billion ultimatum surfacing, the share prices of Facebook slipped by 2.25 percent today.