A judge in the US has given the final approval to a $650 million Facebook class action suit privacy settlement. The judge also ordered that the 1.6 million people in the class action suit be paid “as expeditiously as possible”.
The lawsuit instituted in 2015 by Chicago attorney, Jay Elderson, claims that Facebook’s Tag Suggestions tool, which scanned faces in users’ photos and offered suggestions about who the person might be, stored biometric data without users’ consent in violation of the Illinois law.
In 2018, it became a class action suit and in 2019 Facebook made the facial recognition option opt-in only.
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The three named plaintiffs in the suit will each receive $5,00. The others in the class will get at least $345 each, according to the order by Judge James Donato of the Northern District of California.
Judge Donato says the settlement was a “landmark result”.
“It will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated,” he wrote.
He also describes it as a “major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy.”
“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,” Facebook said in a statement.
Judge Donato refers to it as one of the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation.
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