Lawsuit: Facebook Facial Recognition Technology Violates Illinois Law

Technology SecurityA man in Cook County, Illinois, is suing Facebook and claiming that the site has violated Illinois privacy law. The man, Carlo Licata, says that Facebook’s facial recognition technology has “secretly amassed the world’s largest privately held database of consumer biometrics data.”

Licata filed a lawsuit this week that said the site violated state law by not informing him in writing that his “biometric data” was being collected or stored. While Facebook lets users change their privacy settings to prevent being tagged in photos, Licata and his attorney, Jay Edelson, say that wouldn’t make any difference.

“(Facebook) had taken his data and they’re holding on to it,” Edelson said. “There’s no delete button… If there’s a data breach and hackers get it, that would be a total mess.”

A Facebook spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune that they believed the case had no merit, but the fact that it was filed at all still must give the social media giant pause. The site has gotten a relatively free pass here in the United States over its data policies and facial recognition software, but it has come under near-constant fire in Europe over it and faced many similar lawsuits. Facebook has dealt with the problem overseas, but it would be another matter entirely to fight that battle at home.