Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Facebook Privacy The Courts

Facebook Must Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition, Says Judge (kfgo.com) 79

U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled on Monday that Facebook must face a class-action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission. Donato ruled that a class-action was the most efficient way to resolve the dispute over facial templates. KFGO reports: Facebook said it was reviewing the ruling. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously," the company said in a statement. Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment. Facebook users sued in 2015, alleging violations of an Illinois state law about the privacy of biometric information. The class will consist of Facebook users in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored facial recognition algorithms after June 7, 2011, Donato ruled. That is the date when Facebook launched "Tag Suggestions," a feature that suggests people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo. In the U.S. court system, certification of a class is typically a major hurdle that plaintiffs in proposed class actions need to overcome before reaching a possible settlement or trial.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Must Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition, Says Judge

Comments Filter:
  • Good (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aero77 ( 1242364 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @10:07PM (#56449707)
    I look forward to my free years' worth of Facebook Premium (tm) as compensation. (/s)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're in luck!!! Facebook Premium includes access to the facial recognition features!!

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      I look forward to thousands of dollars, as a non Facebook member if they used facial recognition on me in other peoples photos and recorded it in a database about me. I think somewhere between fifty thousand and one hundred thousand dollars should be appropriate in punitive damages (punitive being punishment, not actual damages, not a member, no financial transactions, no data record allowed). The class action to spread from one country to another like a bush fire, and Facebook all burned down. Some countri

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        I look forward to thousands of dollars, as a non Facebook member if they used facial recognition on me in other peoples photos and recorded it in a database about me.

        If you didn't take the photos, then you have no copyright over them, and no say in what is done with them.

        What law do you think Facebook is violating?

        The plaintiffs are trying to use an Illinois state law on biometrics, but that is a real stretch, and even if they win, the ruling may only apply if the processing or storage is done in Illinois, which is unlikely.

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "If you didn't take the photos, then you have no copyright over them, and no say in what is done with them."

          Did they sign a model release?

          Do you even basic photography law?

          • Did they sign a model release?

            A model release is needed for commercial use of your likeness, not running an algorithm on the pixel data.

        • My right to my picture. Yes, such a thing exists in European law: Your face is yours, and only yours, and anyone wanting to take a picture of it needs your permission to do so. There are some exceptions like for celebrities, or when the picture taken is about, say, a building and you just happen to be in the picture and not in focus, but in general, if you want to do ANYTHING with a picture that has me on it, you need my ok.

          • Yes, such a thing exists in European law: Your face is yours, and only yours, and anyone wanting to take a picture of it needs your permission to do so.

            Bullcrap. There is no such "European law". There are laws in specific EU countries, but they vary. In general, you can photograph people in public without their explicit consent.

            if you want to do ANYTHING with a picture that has me on it, you need my ok.

            More bullcrap. If I take your photo legally, there is no European law prohibiting modification, with a few narrow exceptions such as pornography.

            • There is no such "European law".

              Slightly true.

              The general process is that there is a "European directive" - which is essentially guidance as to what each European country should enact, and then they do so, in line with local practicality and custom, at the pace they are comfortable with.

              However, in the case of data protection, the GDPR (Google is your fiend), will apply from 25 May 2018*, all across Europe, including the UK, even after Brexit. Penalties are EUR25Million or 4% of your global turnover.

          • My right to my picture. Yes, such a thing exists in European law: Your face is yours, and only yours, and anyone wanting to take a picture of it needs your permission to do so. There are some exceptions like for celebrities, or when the picture taken is about, say, a building and you just happen to be in the picture and not in focus, but in general, if you want to do ANYTHING with a picture that has me on it, you need my ok.

            There are exceptions at least here in the US. Out n the streets, or newsworthy events, and you don't have much say.

            Am I to take it however, that in Europe pictures of say a crowd at a football game or Festival are illegal?

    • I look forward to my free years' worth of Facebook Premium (tm) as compensation. (/s)

      That's a strange way to write "free 60 day subscription followed by an opt-out monthly subscription".

  • Am I alone? Facebook is starting to get attributes of a product, once desirable, that is now really beginning to go bad.

    Some would read this as "getting rotten."

  • I'm certainly willing to stipulate that Facebook has many gigantic problems. I would even say that my images, including my face, are part of my personal information that is being horrendously abused by Facebook. However, it is obvious to me that the lawyers are more concerned with creating new problems than solving anything.

    My suggestion for a solution approach would be a rather different: A non-adversarial business model for Facebook. Rather than pitting us against the advertisers, which guarantees the adv

    • It isn't. But it's one more nail in the coffin, I hope.

      You won't convince people to ditch something harmful if you have one huge story about how it fucks up lives. But if you keep the stories coming and if you can give them something else to read about it every day, eventually they'll catch on.

  • Welcome to the Beginning of the END..... hopefully...
  • in a perfect world :)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo ...

    As long as there's been cameras, there's been the thorny issue of owning the brand/copyright versus owning the image. This is why all social networks don't touch copyright and their ownership of the upload is non-exclusive.

    Facebook is a publicity service, helping people find you. It's why Facebook hides and repeatedly resets/deletes privacy settings; it is contrary to the point of the service; and thus their profits. This is a problem when users think they can have privacy: In fact, any claim by Faceboo

  • If you are allowed to recognize people on a photo someone shows you — without the pictured people's permission — how can it possibly be illegal for Facebook or anyone else to do that?

    That said, a class-action lawsuit may, indeed, be the best way to solve this question...

    • a class-action lawsuit may, indeed, be the best way to solve this question...

      It may be a way to solve the question, I am petty sure nuking from high orbit is a better one.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde

Working...