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Facebook to pay $550 million to settle facial recognition lawsuit in Illinois

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Facebook has agreed to pay $550 million to settle a federal lawsuit which had accused the company of violating an Illinois biometric privacy law by harvesting facial data for its photo-labelling service, Tag Suggestions, without seeking permission from users and without informing them about how long their data would be stored, the New York Times reported. During a call with investors, Facebook's CFO David Wehner had confirmed the settlement. The lawsuit was filed almost five years ago, and the settlement is yet to be approved by a judge. Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, that was enacted in 2008, requires companies to obtain written permission from subjects before the collection of a person's biometric information. It gives residents the right to sue companies for up to $5,000 for each violation. As per The New York Times, Facebook had argued that its collection of biometric information did not harm the individuals and thus they should not be sued over a consumer privacy law. Facebook also made a petition in December 2019, asking the US Supreme Court to review the case, to no avail. Tag Suggestions, which has been a feature on Facebook since 2011, uses face-matching software to suggest names of people in the users' photos. Facebook's history with face recognition software In November 2019, we had reported that Facebook was testing a facial recognition system on its mobile app to verify whether users were humans or bots. The current status of this yet-unreleased feature is unclear. In September 2019, the company said that users would have to to…

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