Live in Illinois and use Facebook? Bad news: the platform may have stored your information about your face without consent. But now there’s good news: you might be able to claim part of a cash settlement.
Facebook recently settled an Illinois suit which claimed that its collection of “face prints” for its face tagging photo feature violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The suit alleges that the social network stored the prints of users from June 7, 2011, to Aug. 19, 2020, which the company itself disputes.
“We decided to pursue a settlement as it was in the best interest of our community and our shareholders to move past this matter,” a Facebook spokesman told the New York Times about the matter.
Individuals are eligible for the settlement if they resided in Illinois and had a Facebook profile that was stored from June 7, 2011, onward. If you believe that you are eligible, just complete the claim filing process and submit it by Nov. 23. Depending on how many people claim this settlement, individuals can expect a payout between $200-400, with families of up to four potentially eligible for $800-1,600.
Several states with biometric privacy laws have filed suit against Facebook over this face print storing debacle. However, Illinois’s law is considered one of the most comprehensive in the country, allowing it to get results in court.
“The Illinois law has real teeth. It pretty much stopped Facebook in its tracks,” Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said about the state’s case. “Tech firms and other companies that collect biometric data must be very nervous right now.”