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Facebook Inc. users in Illinois whose faces were scanned without their knowledge can sue the social-media company for damages that could amount to billions of dollars.
A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Monday that Facebook must face potentially millions of users from the state who claim the company has gathered and stored their biometric data without their agreement.
US - District - Judge - James - Donato
U.S. District Judge James Donato’s decision to let the lawsuit proceed as a class action is a significant step for users seeking to put Facebook on the hook for fines of $1,000 to $5,000 for each time a person’s image is used without permission under a unique Illinois law. The ruling could also help advance restrictions on Facebook’s use of biometrics in the U.S., similar to those in Europe and Canada.
Facebook is reviewing the ruling, according to a company spokesperson. “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously,” the person said in an emailed statement.
Company - Lawsuit - Individuals - Group - Damages
The company “seems to believe” that the lawsuit should be pursued by individuals, not as a group, because “damages could amount to billions of dollars,” Donato wrote in the ruling.
The company argued each plaintiff could be “aggrieved” differently, and must prove that they suffered an actual injury beyond a privacy right. Nonetheless, the judge said “substantial damages are not a reason to decline class certification” because he could reduce them at a later...
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