Facebook files for emergency stay in BIPA suit

Facebook has filed an emergency motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to request a stay of a court order to notify all potential members in a class action against the company in its ongoing faceprints suit alleging violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA), MediaPost reports.

“The Court should stay the case so that it may address the fundamental issues presented in the petition before Facebook and tens of millions of its users are irreparably harmed,” the company wrote in the motion.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is yet to rule on Facebook’s request to reverse a decision by U.S. District Court Judge James Donato to allow the suit to be classified as a class action.

Donato ordered the company to inform all potential parties to the case by email, and through the News Feeds and notification icons of their Facebook accounts, according to MediaPost. Facebook says the reputational and economic costs of complying with the order would be “irreparable,” and that it has requested Donato stay the order himself, but received no response.

“If the Court does not grant a stay by May 30, over 20 million people will receive class notice that may need to be retracted or modified substantially,” Facebook writes. “If class members receive a notice that appears to be from Facebook notifying them of an ongoing class action against Facebook, only to then receive another notice appearing to be from Facebook telling them that the class action no longer exists (or some variant thereof), they will be understandably confused and uncertain as to whether they can trust those mixed messages.”

Donato recently scolded the social media giant while ruling against it on the definition of “biometric data”.

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