A federal judge in California has rejected Facebook’s request for dismissal of a case brought against it over its use of facial recognition technology.
The case combines three original lawsuits stemming from Illinois privacy legislation covering biometrics. The plaintiffs assert that their privacy rights were violated by Facebook when the company’s facial recognition technology was used to identify them in images uploaded to the social media platform without their consent.
Last summer, Facebook maneuvered to have the case transferred to California in compliance with its terms of service; the company then proceeded to request dismissal of the case, arguing that Illinois’ biometrics legislation should not apply in California. Now, US District Judge James Donato has rejected that request, ruling that “Illinois will suffer a complete negation of its biometric privacy protections for its citizens if California law is applied,” while “California law and policy will suffer little” if the biometrics law is respected in the dispute.
It’s a setback for Facebook, but by no means a resounding defeat. A similar case was settled in Illinois earlier this year in Facebook’s favor, which bodes well for the company with respect to the current case’s future outcome. Meanwhile, photo-sharing service Shutterfly, facing its own facial recognition lawsuit, recently settled out of court.
May 6, 2016 – by Alex Perala