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.