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Monday, April 27, 2015

Case Claims Facebook "Tag" Program Violates Illinois Privacy Laws

From Strategically Social: Case Claims Facebook "Tag" Program Violates Illinois Privacy Laws:

On April 1, 2015, Carlo Licata filed a class action complaint in Cook County, Illinois, against Facebook, Inc. alleging that the company violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (an Illinois statute) when it launched "Tag Suggestions" that recognizes and identifies friends in photos uploaded by users so the users can "tag" them in the photo.  Licata v. Facebook, Inc. (Cook County)

The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) was enacted in 2008, and makes it unlawful for a company to "collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person's biometric identifiers or information unless the company provides advance notice and receives a written release for the use.  

Licata alleges that the "Tag Suggestions" program uses facial recognition technology to scan faces in photos to determine identities based on stored photos in user profiles.  In the complaint, Licata argues that the data stored by Facebook is derived, in part, from biometric identifiers collected from the image of a person's face.  The storage and use of this stored biometric data (which Licata alleges is millions of user faceprints) is done without prior notice and written consent in violation of BIPA.

Licata defines the "class" for the class action as all Illinois residents who had their faceprints collected, captured, received, or otherwise obtained by Facebook while residing in Illinois.

This will be an interesting case to watch.

Disclosure:  The author is an Illinois resident with a Facebook profile, so a potential plaintiff if the class is certified.


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