Cincinnati, Ohio data privacy attorney reviewing class action consumer protection settlements and Facebook privacy lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs nationwide.
Facebook recently agreed to pay a class action consumer privacy settlement topping $550 million over its use of facial recognition technology. Consumer protection groups and class action privacy lawyers have long criticized Facebook and other social media companies for their lack of security and data-mining practices, and have claimed they violate privacy laws.
The Facebook privacy lawsuit is related to Facebook’s photo-labeling service called “Tag Suggestions,” which uses controversial face-matching software to match Facebook users to uploaded photos. The class action privacy lawsuit alleges Facebook violated privacy laws by harvesting facial data from the photos of millions of users without their permission. Facebook has denied wrongdoing, but will pay $550 million to eligible plaintiffs.
Joe Lyon is a Cincinnati, Ohio data breach lawyer investigating Facebook security lawsuits and class action invasion of privacy cases for plaintiffs nationwide.
Facebook claims it has its users’ best interests in mind with all its operations and platform functions. But consumer privacy attorneys who represented Facebook users in the facial recognition lawsuit said the settlement demonstrates the need for stronger privacy laws as well as consumer privacy understanding. Many Facebook users are unaware of how their personal information is used and how long data is held by the company.
Facebook data breach cases may continue to be filed, and there is a growing consumer concern over social media privacy and surveillance technology like facial recognition. The American Civil Liberties Union and other consumer safety groups have warned that such surveillance services could threaten people’s ability to remain anonymous in public.
The Facebook privacy lawsuit was filed in Illinois, one of only three states with biometric privacy laws in place. The law requires companies to obtain written permission before collecting a person’s fingerprints, facial scans or other identifying physical characteristics. The law gives plaintiffs the right to sue companies for up to $5,000 per violation in class action privacy lawsuits. The Supreme Court has since denied Facebook’s appeal.
Facebook has been receiving complaints and threats of legal action since 2010 since the facial recognition technology was inlaid as the default option for users. Consumer privacy lawyers say Facebook failed to obtain users’ consent before using technology, and never even informed users of the face-matching technology before it was rolled out.
In 2012, Facebook discontinued the technology in Europe, and last year, as part of a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the company agreed to provide better notice about the face-matching software.
Facebook has been involved in a data breach lawsuit that affected nearly 30 million users, yet another privacy breach that affected users’ consumer rights. Hackers obtained login access to millions of accounts in the security breach, leading to a class of Facebook privacy lawsuits which claimed the company was negligent for failing to secure users’ data.
The company has said the security breach failed to leak some sensitive information including credit card numbers and passwords, though personal information was still compromised for many Facebook users. Facebook and other social media giants face several additional class action privacy lawsuits.
If you have experienced a data privacy or security breach, and have questions about the legal remedies available, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, a Cincinnati consumer protection attorney, and he will help you answer these critical questions.