A federal judge has approved $ 650 million in a privacy lawsuit against Facebook, which allegedly uses tagging of photos and other biometric data without the permission of its users.
U.S. District Judge James Donato approved the deal in a class action lawsuit filed in Illinois in 2015. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois who have filed lawsuits will be affected.
Donato called it one of the largest settlements ever for violating confidentiality.
“This will put at least $ 345 in the hands of any member of the class who is interested in compensation,”
Jay Edelson, the Chicago attorney who filed the case, told the Chicago Tribune that checks could be mailed within two months unless the decision is appealed.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement so that we can address this issue, which is in the best interests of our community and our shareholders,” said a statement from Facebook, which is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The lawsuit accused the social media giant of violating an Illinois privacy law by failing to obtain consent before using face recognition technology to scan photos uploaded by users to create and store faces digitally.
The state’s Biometric Privacy Act allows users to sue companies that did not receive permission prior to data collection such as individuals and fingerprints.
The case eventually ended as a lawsuit in California.
Since then, Facebook has changed its photo tagging system.