Facebook Lawsuit

Facebook recently settled a $550 million Illinois internet privacy lawsuit. The article claims, “each Illinois Facebook user could get $200 or more” (Pletz). The reason for Facebook paying that much money is to settle a lawsuit regarding an Illinois biometric privacy law. According to the suit, “a Facebook feature that allowed users to recognize and tag friends in photos based on facial recognition violated the 2008 Illinois law that required consumers to give their consent for their biometric information to be gathered” (Pletz). The attorneys do not know how many users from Illinois will receive a payout but they will most likely receive at least $200. Facebook will also have to ask for permission to use biometric information such as facial recognition. This was not the only occasion where Facebook was sued for a violation of privacy. Last year, Facebook was required to pay $5 billion to settle an FTC lawsuit.

I am glad Facebook had to pay the people whose privacy rights they violated. The fact that Facebook used biometric information without the user’s permission is definitely a violation of privacy. I highly doubt Facebook is the only social media company that violates people’s privacy using biometrics. Platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, where users can post pictures, could potentially be guilty of the same crimes. Hopefully, all the other social media companies who use our personal information will also have to pay for their crimes.



3 thoughts on “Facebook Lawsuit

  1. The issue of biometric privacy has been an issue on social media, specifically Facebook, since their launch. With advancements in facial recognition technology around the world, social media companies and governments are utilizing this technology more often, and sometimes with nefarious intentions. Because there has been such rapid progress with facial recognition technology, laws that protect the privacy of users have been lacking over the last ten years. Illinois is one of the few states ahead of the curve, enacting this biometric privacy law in 2008. However, at the state and federal level, lawmakers have not done enough to punish these companies that take advantage of users data, and more importantly have not done enough to protect the privacy of millions of users.

    source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/29/facebook-will-pay-550-million-to-settle-class-action-lawsuit-over-privacy-violations/

  2. Like the person above me said, this isn’t the first time Facebook has been in trouble when it comes to privacy concerns. Within the last 10 years they have been in many lawsuits. One that I found disturbing was Facebook allowings apps to get ahold of a persons data on their profile. This is just one of the many lawsuits that Facebook has been in. Despite whichever your privacy settings are on, Facebook can still track your every move. Social media should be public to those who want it to be public but also private for those individuals who want that also.


  3. This is definitely not the first time that Facebook has had to pay up for violating privacy and it certainly won’t be the last. It’s disappointing, too, that the fine is only $550 million which of course seems like a lot to us, but for Facebook is barely a slap on the wrist. I’m sure the people affected by this won’t be complaining about getting a free $200, but I think it should be more just based on the fact that Facebook obviously has no respect for its users privacy. Facebook argued in court that facial scans were not considered “biometric data” as stated in the suit itself, which to me is completely ridiculous. They also said that because Facebook is a California based company that Illinois’ laws don’t apply to it. This to me is also very troubling as they are trying to get out of something that they are very obviously guilty of. Giant tech companies like this need to either start following these kinda of laws or get broken up in my opinion. Facebook is going to continue to invade its users privacy and claim no wrong doing as long as they have all of the resources and power that they do. And as privacy invasion gets more normalized with technology like this I’m afraid that soon it won’t be possible to stop them.

    Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/29/facebook-will-pay-550-million-to-settle-class-action-lawsuit-over-privacy-violations/

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