US Judge Slaps Facebook with Class Action Suit over Facial Recognition Tool

US Judge Slaps Facebook with Class Action Suit over Facial Recognition Tool

US District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that the plaintiffs' claims are "sufficiently cohesive" to allow for a class action lawsuit to resolve the dispute.

Facebook says 87 million users may have been affected.

In its blogpost, the company said it believes that "once a story is rated as false, we have been able to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent, and thereby, improve accuracy of information on Facebook and reduce misinformation".

He said the firm is making changes to better protect user data. They estimate the case could cover millions of IL residents with Facebook accounts, "many of whom have been tagged in enough photographs to have face templates".

The facial recognition tool, launched in 2010, suggests names for people it identifies in photos uploaded by users - a function which the plaintiffs claim runs afoul of IL state law on protecting biometric privacy.

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook gathered biometric information without users' explicit consent.

More Games athletes on the run
Cameroon press attache Simon Molombe told Fairfax Media the athletes' whereabouts were unknown. In 2012, seven athletes from Cameroon were reported missing from the London Olympic Games .

A judge in San Francisco has ruled that class-action lawsuit against tech-giant Facebook can proceed in the U.S. state of IL in response to allegations that the site has been using facial recognition technology to identify users online without their knowledge or consent.

The technology was suspended for users in Europe in 2012 over privacy fears.

Executives from Facebook will appear before an Oireachtas committee later today to consider the use of social media and its potential influence on previous and future elections and referenda.

Testifying before the US Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said his organisation was committed to ensure integrity of elections across the world, including India.

The company adds that the data it collects isn't covered by IL law, which explicitly prevents the collection of biometric data such as facial geometry, fingerprints and "voice prints".

"It really puts Facebook's business model into question, and people might feel differently about what they put online if they feel manipulated by the platform", said Jennifer Krueckeberg, lead researcher at privacy advocacy group Big Brother Watch.

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