Facebook Agrees to Pay $550 million Settle to IL Users In Privacy Settlement

By Benjamin Cox on January 30, 2020 at 10:26am

Facebook will pay $550 million to Illinois users to settle allegations that its facial tagging feature violated their privacy rights. The Chicago Tribune reports that the settlement could amount to a couple hundred dollars for each user who is part of the class-action settlement, which stems from a federal lawsuit filed in Illinois nearly five years ago that alleges the social media giant violated a state law protecting residents’ biometric information. Biometric information can include data from facial, fingerprint and iris scans.

Illinois has one of the strictest biometric privacy laws in the nation. The 2008 law mandates that companies collecting such information must obtain prior consent from consumers, detailing how they’ll use it and how long it will be kept. The law also allows private citizens to sue. A federal court judge in San Francisco, where the lawsuit was moved, must approve the settlement. Those eligible to claim a portion of the settlement will be notified.

Similar suits were filed in 2015 against Shutterfly, Snapchat, and Google. Facebook has since altered its platform for Illinois-based users to prevent the facial recognition biometrics from being obtained from users profiles.