Facebook Could Face €423 Billion of Fines in Facial Recognition Lawsuits

Image: Twitter

Facebook Could Face €423 ($500) Billion in Fines for Illegally Collecting Biometric Data Through Instagram.

INSTAGRAM, which is owned by Facebook, was sued on Monday for illegally collecting, storing and distributing the facial recognition data of its users and could potentially face fines of up to €423 ($500) billion.

The class-action lawsuit which was filed in San Mateo Superior Court by Illinois resident Kelly Whalen on August 10 alleges that Facebook and Instagram routinely harvested and shared its users’ biometric data without informing them or asking for consent to collect it.

A lawsuit launched against Facebook by a British Columbia woman is also progressing to the next phase according to one of the lawyers representing the class action lawsuit.

This was in reference to a British Columbia woman, Deborah Douez, who claims the social media giant used her image and those of others without their knowledge in a “sponsored stories” advertising campaign that ran between January 2011 and May 2014 but has now been discontinued.

Allegedly the programme worked along similar lines to an ‘influencer campaign,’ and if someone liked a product under the programme, Facebook generated a news feed endorsement using the person’s name, profile and photo. The lawsuits are based on the fact that they neglected to tell the person their image was being used.

This particular case has already been expanded to include thousands of residents of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador who all claim their images were used without their knowledge during the campaign.

The lawsuit has been a long time in the making but has been approved for trial in 2021.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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