Meta pays hefty price for facial recognition

By Scoop
June 1, 2022 · less than 3 min read

In one of the biggest settlements in US history, the social company is paying $397 to a million Illinois residents.    

Facebook facepalm  

Remember when facial recognition was the new thing? Unlocking iPhones with your face? That was some FBI, CIA stuff. But sometimes, it’s okay to just leave things alone – and Facebook has learned that the hard way.  

Back in 2015, the state of Illinois filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook because of the facial recognition tool it used to use to automatically tag users in photos. As it turns out, the feature broke the Illinois state privacy law, which forbids companies from collecting biometric data from its users without their consent. 

Fight, and lose  

Facebook, now Meta, tried to stall the case for years, arguing that Illinois users had unique claims which required individual lawsuits. But despite the best efforts of its hotshot lawyers, in 2021 Meta agreed on a settlement fee: a cool $650 million, making it one of the largest settlement cases in US history.  

Now, a year on, residents of Illinois have started getting their checks in the mail. According to the settlement website, recipients are getting between $200 and $400, with more than a million already having received at least $345. So, if you’re an Illinois resident – the next round’s on you.  

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