Facebook to face lawsuit over face-scanning tech

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Facebook to face lawsuit over face-scanning tech

Over the last few weeks, Facebook has drawn intense criticism from users and governments globally over a number of issues, ranging from false news on the platform to information of over 80 million users being mined by data analytics and political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica.

The company adds that the data it collects isn't covered by IL law, which explicitly prevents the collection of biometric data such as facial geometry, fingerprints and "voice prints".

Facebook is asking some users in Europe to consent to the use of facial recognition technology. The lawsuit is being filed over an IL state law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act.

The feature suggests who might be present in uploaded photos, based on an existing database of faces.

It will also list a variety of active apps and websites if you have recently logged into them using Facebook.

It raises the stakes of face recognition - it intensifies the potential negative consequences.

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This is because the data you interact with tells a lot about your personality.

Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, warned that if this facial recognition database had been shared with the USA government, it could pose a significant threat to free speech. Combining these two known problems with face recognition, there is a high chance this technology would regularly misidentify people as terrorists or criminals.

The company now faces a class action lawsuit from Facebook users in IL, because gathering biometric information without the consent of users breaches IL law, the lawsuit alleges.

"As more people become aware of the scope of Facebook's data collection and as consequences begin to attach to that data collection, whether economic or regulatory, Facebook will have to take a long look at its privacy practices and make changes consistent with user expectations and regulatory requirements", said Shawn Williams, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, according to Bloomberg.

Cobbe said she believes Facebook's implementation will fall afoul of GDPR, because it will have to scan every face in photos just to see if the photo subjects have consented to use of the tech.

For many, this information was collected through a third-party quiz application connected to Facebook.

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