Court affirms class certification in case about Facebook’s facial-recognition technology

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed the district court’s order certifying a class Facebook users in a case challenging Facebook’s facial-recognition technology as a violation of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).The court held that plaintiffs alleged a concrete and particularized harm, sufficient to confer Article III standing, because BIPA protected the plaintiffs’ concrete privacy interest, and violations of the procedures in BIPA actually harmed or posed a material risk of harm to those privacy interests. Specifically, the panel concluded that the development of a face template using facial-recognition technology without consent (as alleged in this case) invades an individual’s private affairs and concrete interests.

The decision did not address the merits of the case, only the issue whether the case can proceed as a class action.

The court's decision is here. A US News & World Report story on the decision here.

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