Facebook to pay $650 million settlement over US privacy dispute

Facebook to pay $650 million settlement over US privacy dispute
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A US federal judge has given final approval to $650 million payment to settle a privacy dispute between the social media giant and 1.6 million users in the state of Illinois.

“We are pleased to have reached a settlement so we can move past this matter, which is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to AFP.

The decision was issued on Friday according to according to documents seen by AFP on Sunday.

In 2015, Chicago attorney Jay Edelson sued Facebook. He alleged that Facebool illeagally collected biometric data to identify faces in violation of a 2008 Illinois privacy law.

Earlier, Facebook had agreed to pay  $550 million after it failed to get the lawsuit in 2020. However, in July 2020, the judge in the case, James Donato, ruled that the amount was insufficient.

During the trial it was revealed that Facebook was using violating Illinois law because it stored people’s biometric data. The social media giant had collected the digital scan of people’s faces for its face tagging feature but Facebook did it without consent.

In 2019, Facebook proposed that the face recognition feature will be optional.

According to Donato, the regulation is “a landmark result” and represents a “major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy.”

“It is one the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation,” he commented, noting that plaintiffs will receive at least $345 each in compensation.