Facebook must face class action over facial recognition: U.S. judge

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By David Ingram

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission.

The ruling adds to the privacy woes that have been mounting against Facebook for weeks, since it was disclosed that the personal information of millions of users was harvested by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that a class action was the most efficient way to resolve the dispute over facial templates.

Facebook said it was reviewing the ruling. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously," the company said in a statement.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment.

Facebook users sued in 2015, alleging violations of an Illinois state law about the privacy of biometric information.

The class will consist of Facebook users in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored facial recognition algorithms after June 7, 2011, Donato ruled. That is the date when Facebook launched "Tag Suggestions," a feature that suggests people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo.

In the U.S. court system, certification of a class is typically a major hurdle that plaintiffs in proposed class actions need to overcome before reaching a possible settlement or trial.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)

You may also interested in

Great Lakes no help for a struggling Trump on...

Aug 15, 2016

Donald Trump needs a place to reset the electoral map, and he seems to be looking at the industrial...

Hotels in 10 states and DC may have been hit by...

Aug 15, 2016

Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott and Westin hotels in 10 states and the District of Columbia may have been...

Study: Most of methane hot spot comes from...

Aug 15, 2016

A puzzling concentration of the greenhouse gas methane over the Southwestern United States appears...

NASA: Last month was Earth's hottest in recorded...

Aug 15, 2016

NASA calculates that Earth broiled to its hottest month in recorded history in July

2 injured, fire contained on docked Tahoe paddle...

Aug 17, 2016

Fire ripped through the second deck of a docked tourist cruise boat under repair at Lake Tahoe on...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com