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Federal Court Cements Illinois Facebook Suit

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A federal appeals court has given the go-ahead to a class action lawsuit brought by Facebook users in Illinois who contend that the site’s facial-recognition technology violates their right to privacy. The Ninth District Appeals Court upheld the right of Illinois users to pursue their claim that a suggested-tagging feature contravenes the Biometric Information Protection Act, a state statute that demands companies obtain written permission for collecting the data on which those suggestions are based. Three Facebook users brought the suit in 2015 on behalf of millions in the Land of Lincoln who routinely traffic social media.

A three-member panel of judges seated in San Francisco rejected Facebook’s defense that users suffered no concrete injury as it built the templates that allowed viewers that they identify others in photos posted to the site. The company added in a 2017 appeal that its California domicile made it immune from the 2008 Illinois law, which has provided legal footing for several suits. Facebook this week dropped the feature in the wake of the court’s decision.