Facebook’s settlement to pay $650 million to settle class-action litigation alleging it violated customers’ privateness by way of its photo-tagging characteristic — one of many largest ever in a privateness lawsuit — has been authorized by a federal choose.
Beneath the settlement, Facebook customers who submitted claims within the case (about 1.6 million folks) will obtain a minimum of $345 every, in line with the order. The lawsuit alleged Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Info Privacy Act by amassing and storing digital scans of particular person customers’ faces with out prior discover or consent.
“By any measure, the $650 million settlement on this biometric privateness class motion is a landmark outcome,” U.S. District Court Decide James Donato of the Northern District of California wrote in his order Friday approving the settlement (obtainable at this hyperlink). “Total, the settlement is a serious win for customers within the hotly contested space of digital privateness.”
In a press release, a Facebook rep mentioned, “We’re happy to have reached a settlement so we will transfer previous this matter, which is in one of the best curiosity of our neighborhood and our shareholders.” Facebook has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
The litigation dates again to 2015. Facebook had agreed to a $550 million settlement in January 2020, then agreed to extend that to $650 million on the choose’s behest. The deadline for Facebook customers to file a declare type was Nov. 23, 2020. Within the approval order, the court docket awarded $97.5 million in attorneys’ charges in addition to $915,454.37 in bills to the three class counsel companies.
Beneath the settlement, Facebook will set its “face recognition” default consumer setting to “off” and can delete all present and saved face templates for sophistication members (until Facebook obtains categorical consent after a separate disclosure about how Facebook will use the face templates). The social large additionally will delete the face templates of any class members who’ve had no exercise on Facebook for 3 years.