Social media and other apps use facial recognition technology in connection with their service offerings. Facebook’s “DeepFace” program automatically “tags” users thereby creating an ever-growing database of faces associated with users’ profiles, likes and other personal information. The technology boasts an accuracy rate of over 97%. Google Photos uses similar technology.

Both Facebook and Google are defending class action lawsuits over the collection and use of facial recognition data. Two cases, Rivera v. Google, Inc. and Weiss v. Google, Inc. are pending in federal court in Illinois, one of a handful of states prohibiting the use of biometric data without user consent and carrying potential fines up to $5000 per each violation. While Google is arguing that the law doesn’t apply to photographs, the courts have yet to rule.

A similar case against Facebook has been transferred from Illinois to California, where it survived a motion to dismiss by Facebook and remains pending in federal court. See the Rivera complaint here and the Weiss complaint here. More information on the Facebook biometric information privacy litigation is available here. Contact us at Ossian Law regarding any information technology law matter.

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