Judge Rejects Facebook's Bid to Dismiss Privacy Lawsuit Case Over Face Recognition Tool
May 09, 2016 07:44 AM EDT
A judge in San Francisco denied Facebook's request to have a privacy lawsuit case dismiss. The popular social media website is being sued over its illegal facial recognition tool, alleging its unlawful storage of users' facial data.
According to Design & Trend, Facebook hoped to dismiss the case as the social networking site's user agreement states any disputes should be governed solely by California law. However, the judge's decision, rejecting the request, states that its terms do not protect the company from being subject to Illinois' biometrics act.
The plaintiffs are a group of Facebook users from Illinois who said that Facedbook violated Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act as it alleges that the social network giant is storing facial data without the users' permission. "The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act requires users to be informed before collecting biometric data," the group said.
The court stated on the ruling that the plaintiffs showed a "plausible claims", CNET reported. Once the plaintiffs wins, Facebook and other company online sites such as Google which uses facial recognition will need to review their user terms and agreements.
"The Court accepts as true plaintiffs' allegations that Facebook's face recognition technology involves a scan of face geometry that was done without plaintiffs' consent," US District Judge James Donato stated on the ruling on Thursday.
According USA Today, the face recognition tool was first introduced back in the year 2010. The tool allows to faceprint photos, which will automatically recognize and matches the names on the faces in the photos that are uploaded on Facebook.
Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy act took effect in 2008. Shawn Williams, one of the representing lawyers for the Illinois of Facebook users said they were pleased of the ruling. A user's Faceprint is applied to billions of photos on Facebook's website to find other pictures to tag the user in. However, tagging is far from the only application this software provides.
The ruling of the judge comes after similar facial recognition litigation against Google and may open more biometric lawsuits.