On Friday, a federal judge approved the settlement of a $ 650 million privacy lawsuit against Facebook over the use of facial images and other biometric data without permission from its users.
US District Judge James Donato approved the deal in a class action lawsuit that was filed in Illinois in 2015. Approximately 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois who filed lawsuits will be affected.
Donato described it as one of the biggest settlements ever for breaching privacy.
“He would put at least $ 345 in the hands of every class member interested in getting compensation,” he wrote, calling it “a big win for consumers in the hotly contested digital privacy area.”
Jay Edelson, the Chicago attorney who filed the lawsuit, told the Chicago newspaper platform Checks can be in the mail within two months unless the judgment is appealed.
“We are delighted to have reached a settlement so that we can overcome this matter, which is in the interest of our community and our shareholders,” Facebook, headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, said in a statement.
The lawsuit accused the social media giant of violating the Illinois Privacy Act by failing to obtain consent before using facial recognition technology to scan photos uploaded by users to create and digitally store faces.
The state’s biometric information privacy law allowed consumers to sue companies that did not obtain permission before collecting data such as faces and fingerprints.
The case ultimately ended up as a class-action lawsuit in California.
Since then, Facebook has changed its image tagging system.