Philippine Daily Inquirer - - WORLD -

SAN FRAN­CISCO— A US fed­eral judge ruled on Mon­day that Face­book Inc. must face a class ac­tion law­suit al­leg­ing that the so­cial net­work un­law­fully used a fa­cial recog­ni­tion process on pho­tos with­out user per­mis­sion.

Pri­vacy woes

The rul­ing adds to the pri­vacy woes that have been mount­ing against Face­book for weeks, since it was dis­closed that the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of mil­lions of users was har­vested by the po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tancy Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica.

US District Judge James Do- nato ruled in San Fran­cisco fed­eral court that a class ac­tion was the most ef­fi­cient way to re­solve the dis­pute over fa­cial tem­plates.

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.

Pri­vacy of bio­met­ric info

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.

Tag fea­ture

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 US 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.—

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