Facebook must face class action over face-tagging in photos: judge

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Facebook's misuse of their users' biometric information could potentially amount to billions of dollars in damages after a federal judge greenlighted an IL class action suit against the firm's facial recognition feature.

In yet another potentially damaging revelation for the online data giant, a former director at Cambridge Analytica, Brittney Kaiser submitted in her evidence to the UK Government's inquiry into the data mining scandal that likely far more than 87 million users' accounts and their data have been compromised.

Facebook has stated that they are reviewing the ruling saying, "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously". However, the lawsuit is based on the earlier collection of user data.

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A federal judge has just given the go-ahead for three IL users to file a class action lawsuit against the social network over its facial recognition systems. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users in IL sued the company in 2015 for violating a state privacy law. Per Facebook's request, the case has been moved from IL to California.

The legal victory for the plaintiffs comes seven years after the original application was made in 2011 over claims that the company was operating algorithms on users facial information in order to "suggest tags" when new photos are uploaded.

The company also filed a patent in 2014 for technology that lets it provide certain types of content to users based off of reading their emotions with a camera in their computer or phone.

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Executives from Facebook will appear before an Oireachtas committee later today to consider the use of social media and its potential influence on previous and future elections and referenda.

The company adds that the data it collects isn't covered by IL law, which explicitly prevents the collection of biometric data such as facial geometry, fingerprints and "voice prints".

Facebook has said it will comply with law, called the General Data Protection Regulation, and apply it outside Europe, but the company has also faced criticism about whether it gives a real choice to users.

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Folks can, of course, turn off the service via Facebook's privacy settings.