Facebook biometric privacy lawsuit to proceed as class action after denied appeal

Facebook biometric privacy lawsuit to proceed as class action after denied appeal

Facebook has been denied a motion to prevent a suit filed under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act from proceeding as a class action by a federal appeals court, Claims Journal reports.

The ruling opens Facebook up to potential claims of $1,000 to $5,000 per individual Facebook account holder in Illinois who has had a biometric “Faceprint” collected by the social media platform’s tagging feature. The court also dismissed Facebook’s appeal against the denial of a motion to throw out the suit on grounds that procedural violations of a state law are not sufficient to establish standing in federal court.

On the issue of whether to consider the complaint on a class or individual basis, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the District Court for the Northern District of California “did not abuse its discretion in determining that a class action was superior to individual actions in this case.”

The suit was originally filed in 2015, and Claims Journal says the loss of the appeal brings it closer to finally being heard.

Google had a similar suit dismissed in late-2018, before a State Supreme Court ruling revived it. In that case Google has argued that the law applies only to biometric processes involving live people, not photographs.

Edited at 12:29 ET on August 9, 2019, to clarify that Facebook’s appeal on grounds of insufficient standing was also rejected.

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