RED-FACED

Facebook Hit By Class Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition

Facebook may have taken its name a little too literally —it's been hit by a class action lawsuit over its facial recognition feature with concerns it may have gathered users' biometric information without explicit consent. A California judge ruled the company, already rocked by serious concerns over how effectively it protects user data, must go to court over its "tag suggestions" technology, which recognizes users' friends in uploaded photos. The lawsuit claims the feature breaches Illinois state law and District Judge James Donato ruled to certify a class of Facebook users "in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011," according to the court order. If the class action suit is successful, any person in that group could be entitled to compensation, with Judge Donato writing in the court order: "Facebook seems to believe... statutory damages could amount to billions of dollars." The company said the case has no merit and will fight it vigorously.