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Federal Judge OKs Class-Action Suit Against Facebook

A federal judge on Monday gave Facebook users in Illinois the go-ahead to file a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant over its use of facial recognition technology. U.S. District Judge James Donato’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by three Illinois residents who argued that Facebook violated a state law prohibiting private entities from collecting and storing an individual’s biometric facial data without written consent. Facebook, already under scrutiny after revelations that millions of users’ data was illegally harvested by data firm Cambridge Analytica, has said it believes the case has “no merit.” But Donato ruled that the case should be given class-action status, a move that could see millions of Facebook users in Illinois join in. The lawsuit, which was filed back in 2015, seeks up to $5,000 in damages for every time a user’s “facial template” was used without his or her permission.