The legal battle that has been going on between Facebook and the Illinois Court since 2015 appears to have come to an end. The company led by Mark Zuckerberg has announced it will pay 550 million dollars for violating the privacy of US users with its biometric data collection system for facial recognition. The extrajudicial agreement signed between Facebook and the Illinois citizens' group will now be presented by both parties to a judge, advances The New York Times.
The lawsuit filed with the Illinois Court states that state citizens did not grant Facebook permission to scan photographs submitted for facial recognition, something that began to be done by the company in 2011. Complainants also state that they were not informed about the time storage of the images. It should be remembered that the social network has been using technology to identify users in photographs through tags.
In October 2019, it was estimated that the value of the fines would be around one thousand and five thousand dollars per user, making a total of 35 billion dollars. Even earlier, in August of that year, Facebook had asked to be heard by a panel of three judges and appealed based on the argument that users did not suffer consequences from the capture and storage of their facial data. However, the Illinois court did not agree and decided to proceed with the case.
In addition, in November 2019, Facebook confirmed the existence of a facial recognition application for exclusive internal use, which was eventually discontinued. The tool developed internally between 2015 and 2016, years before the scandal with the consultant Cambridge Analytica, was based on information from the vast catalog of photographs and facial recognition data from the social network.
In addition to the problematic use of facial recognition, Facebook is under the scrutiny of several regulatory bodies and organizations due to the misuse of user data collected a few years ago. Regarding what became known as one of its biggest scandals, in July 2019, the company was fined by FCT, the North American entity responsible for the competition, in 5 billion dollars.