Judge Approves $650 Million Facebook Privacy Settlement On Facial Recognition Feature
A federal judge on Friday gave final approval to the $650 million Facebook class action privacy settlement and ordered 1.6 million members of the class in Illinois who claimed to be “paid as soon as possible.” Chicago attorney Jay Adelson sued Facebook in Cook County Circuit Court in 2015, alleging that the platform’s use of facial recognition tagging was not permitted under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The lawsuit claimed that Facebook’s tag suggestion tool, which scanned faces in users ‘photos and made suggestions about who the person might be, stored biometric data without users’ consent in violation of Illinois law.
The case became a class-action lawsuit in 2018. In 2019, Facebook only did facial recognition on the platform opt-in.
The three plaintiffs named in the suit will each receive $5,000 and the others in the class will receive at least $345, according to an order by Judge James Donato of Northern Northern California. Donato said the agreement was a “historic outcome” and “a major victory for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy.”
“We are happy to reach an agreement, so we can pursue this matter, which is in the interests of our community and our shareholders,” Facebook said in a statement.
“It’s a big deal,” Adelson told the Chicago Tribune. “It sends a very clear message that in Illinois, biometric privacy rights are here to stay.”