Facebook said on Wednesday, January 29, it has settled a $550 million lawsuit over its use of facial recognition to be paid in Illinois.
It was sued based on the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act because its service did not receive "explicit consent" from users before collecting their data. The lawsuit was launched by law firms Edelson, Robbins Geller, and Labaton Sucharow close to five years ago on behalf of Facebook users in Illinois. The law requires vendors to develop a written policy indicating how data is collected, the purpose of such collection, and to indicate when the information will be destroyed, either after its purpose is fulfilled or within three years of a user's last interaction with an organization. The court case was also heard in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
"We decided to pursue a settlement as it was in the best interest of our community and our shareholders to move past this matter," a spokesperson responded. The $550 million settlement will be used for an all-cash fund to compensate users. The settlement will still need to be approved by a judge. Before the settlement, Facebook has always denied any wrongdoing.