Facebook ‘photo tagging’ class-action suit can proceed: Calif. judge rules

Facebook ‘photo tagging’ class-action suit can proceed: Calif. judge rules

The class-action lawsuit that challenges social-networking giant Facebook Inc.’s practice of using facial recognition technology to identify people in uploaded photos can proceed, a federal court in California ruled.

The lawsuit in question was brought by three Illinois men, viz. Adam Pezen, Nimesh Patel and Carlo Licata, who originally sued Facebook in 2015, accusing the company of illegally collecting biometric data of people “tagged” in images posted by other people.

The three Chicago area men sued the company separately. Licata filed his lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court in April last year, while Pezen filed a suit in federal court in the same month. Patel filed his suit in May 2015. All challenged Facebook’s use of facial recognition software.

All the three suits were combined last summer and transferred to the court of the Northern District of California. The class-action suit alleges that the Facbook technology violates Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.

The class-action lawsuit was also challenged, but Judge James Donato ruled earlier this month that the three men have made a valid complaint and the case can proceed to trial.

The plaintiffs seek $5,000 for each time the social-networking giant intentionally or recklessly collected their personal information and $1,000 for each time it did so negligently.