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Judge Approves 'Landmark' $650 Million Class-Action Suit Against Facebook Over Privacy Claims

8:41AM ET 3/01/2021 Benzinga

A federal judge has approved a $650 million settlement of a class-action privacy lawsuit against Facebook that claimed the company used its facial recognition feature without user consent.

What Happened: In 2015, Chicago attorney Jay Edelson filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in Cook County Circuit Court. According to the lawsuit, Facebook violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, by failing to get consent before using facial-recognition technology, which scans photos uploaded by users to create and store faces digitally, The Verge has reported

Along with the settlement amount, the judge also ordered the 1.6 million members of the class-action lawsuit in Illinois to be paid “as expeditiously as possible.”

See also: How To Buy Facebook Stock

Why It Matters: According to the order by Judge James Donato of the Northern District of California, the three named plaintiffs will each receive $5,000 and others in the class-action lawsuit will get at least $345 each, the report said.

Donato described the settlement as a “landmark result” and said it "is one the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation."

In a statement, Facebook said, “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 isn't the only company to run into the Illinois law. Sony Corp (NYSE:SNEdoesn't sell its robot dog, aibo, which has facial recognition technology, in the state because of the law.