2018 has not been kind to Facebook thus far. The Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal continues to haunt Mark Zuckerberg and his company, which is trying desperately to right wrongs with policy clarifications, changes to the way ads are handled, and even a rewards program for data abuse reporting.
Probably the last thing Facebook needs right now is a privacy-related class action lawsuit, yet that's exactly what US federal judge James Donato has just ruled in favor of. Users from Illinois are alleging unlawful use of facial recognition algorithms used to provide tag suggestions when a photo is uploaded to the site/app.
According to the plaintiffs, permission was not sought when the feature was added in 2011, and the use of such facial templates is therefore illegal. The judge thinks they have a case and decided that a class action was the best way to proceed. This follows a previous suit against Facebook in 2015 over the use of biometric data that violated Illinois state law. In a statement, a Facebook spokesman said: “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously.”