Court Rules Illinois Facebook Users Can Sue Over Facial Recognition Tech

Aug 9, 2019

The U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Illinois residents have the right to file a class-action lawsuit against Facebook over its facial recognition technology. 

The users allege the social media giant is identifying, collecting and storing facial images without their knowledge or consent, in violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. 

Rebecca Glenberg is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Illinois. She said this decision sends a signal to state and federal governments looking to reinforce digital privacy rights. 

“If they pass a statute that requires notification and written consent before someone takes your biometric information, that statute can be enforced in federal court," she said. 

Facebook argues users have the option to opt out of facial recognition. But Glenberg argues that should be an opt-in process instead.