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Facebook will pay $650 million to settle facial recognition privacy lawsuit

The company added $100 million to its initial settlement.
Karissa Bell, @karissabe
July 23, 2020
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In this photo illustration a Facebook App logo is displayed on a smartphone on 1st February 2020 in Athens, Greece.  (Photo by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook will now hand over a total of $650 million to settle a lawsuit over the company’s use of facial recognition technology. The social network added $100 million to its initial $550 million settlement, Facebook revealed in court documents reported by Fortune

The lawsuit dates back to 2015, when the company was hit with a class action lawsuit saying Facebook violated an Illinois privacy law that required companies obtain “explicit consent” before collecting biometric data from users. At issue was Facebook’s “tag suggestions” feature, which used facial recognition to scan photos and automatically suggest tags when users uploaded new images. (Facebook stopped scanning faces by default last year.) 

The new $650 million settlement comes as officials around the country have pushed for facial recognition bans. Funds from the settlement will be available to Illinois Facebook users “whose picture appeared on the site after 2011,” Fortune reports, and could pay out as much as $400 per person. 

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