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Supreme Court declines to hear Facebook facial recognition case


steven36
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a high-profile court battle over whether users can sue Facebook for using facial recognition technology on their photos without proper consent.

 

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The high court rejected Facebook's bid to review the case, meaning the social media giant will likely have to face the multibillion-dollar class-action lawsuit over whether it violated an Illinois privacy law. 

 

The case, Facebook vs. Patel, hinges on a question over whether Facebook violated Illinois law when it implemented a photo-tagging feature that recognized users' faces and suggested their names without obtaining adequate consent. Facebook argued to the Supreme Court that the class-action case should not be allowed to proceed because the group of users have not proven that the alleged privacy violation resulted in "real-world harm." 

 

"Although plaintiffs claim that their privacy interests have been violated, they have never alleged — much less shown — that they would have done anything differently, or that their circumstances would have changed in any way, if they had received the kind of notice and consent they alleged that [the Illinois law] requires, rather than the disclosures that Facebook actually provided to them,” Facebook wrote in its petition.

 

The Illinois biometric privacy law, the most expansive of its kind, requires companies to obtain written consent from people before collecting sensitive information about their "face geometry." Users can sue companies for up to $5,000 per privacy violation. 

 

Business groups and tech companies for years have argued that lawsuits over privacy violations and data breaches should be dismissed because it is difficult to prove substantial harm. The Supreme Court still has not contended with the issue head-on, and federal courts of appeal are deeply divided over how much harm plaintiffs have to show to bring their privacy claims to federal court.

 

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled that Facebook has to face the lawsuit over whether it violated user privacy with its facial recognition tools. Circuit Court Judge Sandra Ikuta ruled against Facebook's claims that the plaintiffs had failed to adequately prove they had been harmed by the face scanning.

 

"We conclude that the development of a face template using facial-recognition technology without consent (as alleged here) invades an individual’s private affairs and concrete interests," she wrote.

 

Facebook insists that it always disclosed how it was using facial recognition technology and gave users the option to turn it off. And last September, the company overhauled the automatic photo-tagging suggestions setting, replacing it with a face recognition tool that explicitly asks users whether they want to turn on the feature.

 

The company also ran into trouble over its facial recognition technology during the Federal Trade Commission's  (FTC) highly-publicized investigation into the company's privacy practices.

 

Earlier this summer, the company settled with the FTC for a record-shattering $5 billion fine and a litany of new privacy safeguards, including a requirement that Facebook obtain affirmative consent from users before using facial recognition tech.

 

Facebook declined to comment on the Supreme Court's decision on Tuesday. The Illinois case had been put on hold until the high court responded to Facebook's petition.

 

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28 minutes ago, steven36 said:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a high-profile court battle over whether users can sue Facebook for using facial recognition technology on their photos without proper consent.

When a person creates an account on Facebook, that person gives his consent for Facebook to do anything it likes.

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Just now, dhjohns said:

When a person creates an account on Facebook, that person gives his consent for Facebook to do anything it likes.

Thats like saying Facebook is above the law and is total nonsense Supreme Court would not listen to Facebook case  they dont have  such a right because of the Illinois biometric privacy law. face Book has to follow the law  are face being  fined   .

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5 minutes ago, steven36 said:

Thats like saying Facebook is above the law and is total nonsense Supreme Court would not listen to Facebook case  they dont have  such a right because of the Illinois biometric privacy law. face Book has to follow the law  are face being  fined   .

Sure facebook must follow the law, but people should know what they are doing when they sign in to fb.  The only reason facebook exists is to gather personal information, sell it, and make money.

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34 minutes ago, dhjohns said:

Sure facebook must follow the law, but people should know what they are doing when they sign in to fb.  The only reason facebook exists is to gather personal information, sell it, and make money.

What people should know don't matter when Facebook  gets fined  over it It the fact they do it is all that matters unless  the Judge rules in Facebook favor and finds them not guilty  . They should of knew Facebook was  selling there data too when they got fined  for $5 billion dollars  last year over it . Because it been a known fact for years before they got fined  social media sells your data .

This video from 2014  about it even. They got fined and still people  go on there  and every time  they get caught breaking some law they going   have to face the music . Facebook needs users in order to exist  they get caught abusing users rights  in places that have  laws they going to have to pay.

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