Facebook must face class action over face-tagging in photos: jude

Alexander Nix

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A federal judge on Monday said Facebook must face a potentially multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit from a group of IL users who say the company violated a state law that restricts facial recognition software.

The decision by a United States district judge means the company could be sued by millions of USA users.

The lawsuit say the "tag suggestions" technology, which is employed to identify a user's friend in an uploaded photo breaches state law of IL.

Judge James Donato ruled the claims by IL residents Nimesh Patel, Adam Pezen, and Carlo Licata were "sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis".

Facebook has issued a statement saying it continues to believe the case has no merit, and that it will continue to fight it "vigorously".

Facebook created a template that automatically tags people when a photo is uploaded to the site.

Cabanlong, who is in charge of cyber security and enabling technologies, said the DICT, together with the National Privacy Commission, is studying the possibility for Facebook to put up data centers in the Philippines.

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

In this case, that group has been defined as users "in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011", which has the potential to cover millions of individuals.

They are referring to Facebook's "tag suggestions" feature, which uses facial recognition to suggest which friends to tag in a photo.

"If you've never been tagged in a photo on Facebook or have untagged yourself in all photos of you on Facebook, then we do not have this summary information for you", the company says.

But he stressed the practice was widespread, with companies such as Google and Twitter also doing the same.

Baser said "many" websites and apps use Facebook services to target content and ads, including via the social network's Like and Share buttons, when people use their Facebook account to log into another website or app and Facebook ads and measurement tools.

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