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Facebook to pay $ 650 million to close US privacy dispute

A US federal judge has given final approval to Facebook’s US$650 million (S$866.06 million) payment to settle a privacy dispute

During the trial, it emerged that Facebook was storing biometric data without users’ consent, in violation of Illinois law.

A U.S. federal judge has given final approval to Facebook’s payment of $ 650 million to end a privacy dispute between the California group and 1.6 million Illinois users. The decision was made Friday, according to the document consulted this Sunday.

Chicago attorney Jay Edelson sued Facebook in 2015 alleging the social network illegally collected biometric data to identify faces, in violation of a 2008 Illinois privacy law.

At the end of January 2020, Facebook had agreed to pay $ 550 million after failing to obtain a dismissal in this procedure which had taken the form of a “class action” (collective name procedure) in 2018 after the initial complaint filed in 2015. But in July 2020, the judge in the case, District Judge James Donato, ruled that this amount was insufficient.

Biometric data

During the trial, it emerged that Facebook was storing biometric data without users’ consent, in violation of Illinois law.

In 2019, Facebook proposed that the facial recognition feature be optional only.

According to James Donato, the regulation is “historic” and represents a “major victory for consumers in the very controversial area of ​​digital privacy”.

“This is one of the biggest settlements ever found for (a dispute over) a breach of privacy,” he also commented, adding that the plaintiffs will receive compensation of at least $ 345. each. Facebook was not immediately available to comment on this decision.

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