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Federal court: Facebook’s facial recognition violates privacy

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Aug. 9 (UPI) — Facebook’s facial recognition data, used to identify friends tagged in photos, violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 3-0 decision could lead to Facebook paying fines of $1,000 to $5,000 per violation, which could total billions of dollars.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 and later became a class-action suit. The judges sided with the plaintiffs Thursday.

“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,” the court ruled.

The social media giant said it plans to appeal the case and could take it to the Supreme Court. Facebook said the plaintiffs declined to show injury.

“We plan to seek further review of the decision,” Facebook said in a statement to The Verge. “We have always disclosed our use of face recognition technology and that people can turn it on or off at any time.”

In other Facebook news, the company will launch a news tab that prioritizes “trustworthy news” and makes it easily accessible to users. Facebook approached The Washington Post, Bloomberg and other news outlets with offers to pay up to $3 million annually to license their articles.

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