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Volume X, Number 226

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New Decade, New Facebook? Facebook Reaches $550 Million Settlement In Facial Recognition Class Action, Agrees To Upgrade Privacy Safeguards

Facebook is in the news again, but this time it’s not for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that took over our screens in 2019. Facebook has agreed to pay $550 Million USD to settle a class action which claimed that it had collected and stored biometric information belonging to millions of users without their consent, according to reports by Reuters and TechXplore.

According to the reports, the relevant users alleged that Facebook illegally collected biometric data through its ‘Tag Suggestions’ feature, which allowed users to recognise Facebook friends from uploaded photographs.

The class action commenced in 2015 as an alleged breach of the Illinoisan Biometric Information Privacy Act, and whilst Facebook did not admit to any wrongdoing, the users’ representatives have heralded the settlement as pivotal in establishing the right of users of technology products and services to control access to their data for facial recognition.

According to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, the settlement provides a commitment on Facebook’s behalf to implement privacy controls that set a new standard for the industry, “going beyond anything required by law”.

Co-Authored by Florence Fermanis

Copyright 2020 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 51


About this Author

Cameron Abbott, Technology, Attorney, Australia, corporate, KL Gates Law Firm

Mr. Abbott is a corporate lawyer who focuses on technology, telecommunications and broadcasting transactions. He assists corporations and vendors in managing their technology requirements and contracts, particularly large outsourcing and technology procurements issues including licensing terms for SAP and Oracle and major system integration transactions.

Mr. Abbott partners with his clients to ensure market leading solutions are implemented in to their businesses. He concentrates on managing and negotiating complex technology solutions, which...

Max Evans Lawyer technology matters, Software as a Service Agreements SaaS Sydney

Mr. Evans is a corporate and transactional lawyer with a focus on information technology and outsourcing. He provides assistance on a broad range of technology matters, including Software as a Service Agreements (SaaS), terms and conditions for software products and platforms as well as software procurement and outsourcing projects. Mr. Evans also provides assistance with technology and privacy aspects of mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Evans worked in the insolvency and bankruptcy practice of a Boutique Insolvency Law Firm in Sydney for two years.