Devastating Facebook Lawsuit Approved By Judge

( Even with the Democrats in charge of all three branches of government, the days of Big Tech look like they’re coming to an end…slowly.

Last Friday, a federal judge approved a $650 million settlement in a privacy lawsuit against social media giant Facebook after the tech company allegedly used biometric data and photo face-tagging without the permission of users. It is just one of several examples of social media companies using the data collected from their users without requesting permission.

Under the system, Facebook violated privacy laws in Illinois by using photographs uploaded by users to digitally attach names to faces automatically. The process is also used to help train artificial intelligence, with millions of photographs uploaded to Facebook every month.

United States District Judge James Donato approved the settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed against the company in Illinois back in 2015. It involves almost 1.6 million Facebook users from the state who submitted claims against the company.

That’s about three hundred bucks per user.

Judge Donato said it is one of the biggest settlements for a privacy violation in history.

“It will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated,” Donato wrote. He also labeled the victory a “major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy.”

The suit was filed by Chicago attorney Jay Edelson, who told the Chicago Tribune that unless the ruling is appealed, all 1.6 million recipients should expect to receive checks within the next two months.

Facebook released a statement attempting to save face, describing how they are “pleased to have reached a settlement” and considered the move to be “in the best interest of our community and our shareholders.”

Under the Biometric Information Privacy Act in Illinois, consumers can sue companies that don’t request their permission before obtaining personal information and data like fingerprints and faces.

Facebook might be able to put this one behind them for now, but the company is still preparing for major anti-trust lawsuits.

Back in December, 46 states joined with the Federal Trade Commission in suing Facebook. The social media giant is accused of buying its competitors, including Instagram and WhatsApp. The lawsuit intends to make Facebook reverse its acquisitions and, in effect, break up Big Tech.