In the past several years, Facebook has faced a steady stream of lawsuits across the country challenging the company’s methods for collecting user data. One notable lawsuit in Illinois alleged that the social media giant’s collection of biometric information through its facial recognition technology violated users’ rights. Another made a similar allegation based on Facebook’s collection of location data. However, a federal court sided with Facebook this week in the latter case, determining that users’ IP addresses are not legally protected.
The case originated with two class-action lawsuits that claimed Facebook used “enhanced tracking methodologies” to collect user IP addresses even when users tried to stop it. However, the court ruled that this information is not inherently protected under privacy law.
“There is no legally protected privacy interest in IP addresses,” U.S. District Court Judge James Donato wrote in his order. “While plaintiffs have made out standing to sue, the substantive facts alleged for their causes of action need work.”
While this decision is certainly a setback for people concerned with Facebook’s privacy practices, there’s still hope. The users in this case have the chance to amend their complaints, we may not have heard the last of it.
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