Facebook facing class-action suit over use of facial recognition

A California judge had ruled that giant tech company Facebook, must face a class action suit against the firm over the use of facial recognition technology, which alleges that Facebook collected biometric information without users' explicit consent.

The lawsuit say the "tag suggestions" technology, which is employed to identify a user's friend in an uploaded photo breaches state
law of Illinois.

US District Judge James Donato, on Monday ruled to certify a class of Facebook users - a key legal hurdle for a class action suit.

According to a court order, the class of people are Facebook users in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011.

Judge Donato in his order wrote: "Facebook seems to believe... statutory damages could amount to billions of dollars."

On Facebook's help pages, the company says the face templates are made from information about the similarities in every photo the user has been tagged in.

"If you've never been tagged in a photo on Facebook or have untagged yourself in all photos of you on Facebook, then we do not have this summary information for you," the company says.

The feature which is not available to users in most countries, can be turned off in settings for users in the United States.

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