Facebook settles $650 Million Settlement After Privacy Lawsuit
A federal judge has approved the $650 million settlement for Facebook to pay users in Illinois whose images from photo face-tagging and other biometric data were used by the company without their permission.
The settlement in the class-action lawsuit was approved by U.S. District Judge James Donato on Friday, AP News reports. The settlement is expected to be distributed to around 1.6 million Facebook users who submitted claims.
A total of about 6.9 million Facebook users in Illinois were affected by the privacy violation, the Chicago Tribune reports. However, only 22% of those eligible filed claim forms before the Nov. 23 deadline.
Donato noted his ruling marked one of the biggest settlements over privacy violation. “It will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated,” he wrote.
Donato went on to state the decision was “a major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2015, accused Facebook of breaking an Illinois privacy law by not asking users for permission to use facial-recognition technology to scan their uploaded photos to store and create faces digitally.
Due to the state Biometric Information Privacy Act, Facebook users in Chicago were able to sue companies that failed to get their consent before storing fingerprints, faces, and other data.
Jay Edelson, the Chicago lawyer who filed the class-action lawsuit, revealed those who submitted claims should receive their checks in the mail within the next two months, as long as the company doesn’t file an appeal.
However, from the looks of a statement issued by Facebook, the social media giant appears to be content with the settlement.
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement so we can move past this matter, which is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders,” a statement from the company revealed.
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