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A Lawsuit is Filed Over Instagram for Illegally Harvesting Biometrics

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Facebook has come under both public and legal scrutiny yet again, and this time too pertaining to security and privacy issues. Time and again, Facebook’s privacy policy has been questioned. The government has been critical of it so has the public.

The popular social media platform also got into a legal battle and lawsuits over the years. This has resulted in Facebook making promises and excuses over their privacy policy. The latest lawsuit under Facebook’s belt is illegally harvesting users’ biometric data. This time the lawsuit is against Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram.

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Last month, the social media company offered to pay a whopping 650 million USD to settle a lawsuit that accused the platform of illegally collecting biometric data through a photo-tagging tool provided to Facebook users. In a new lawsuit filed in state court in Redwood City, California, Zuckerberg’s company is accused of collecting, storing, and profiting from the biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users.

The lawsuit has emphasized that Facebook has successfully done all of this without the knowledge or consent of its users. The lawsuit shows that this practice violates an Illinois privacy law that bars unauthorized collection of biometric data. Under this law, any company that violates this law is liable to pay 1000 USD per violation or 5000 USD. if the violation is found to have acted intentionally.

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What is more? Facebook had tried to come clean about illegally harvesting data. As late as the beginning of this year, Facebook slyly started to inform its Instagram users that the company was indeed collecting biometric data. This did not go unnoticed by the lawsuit. The suit is Whalen v. Facebook, 20-civ-03346, Superior Court of California (Redwood City). Facebook refrained from commenting on this new lawsuit.

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