The basic idea of Facebook’s photo tagging is pretty cool on the surface. I mean, who wouldn’t want photos from outings with friends and family to be tagged, allowing you to recapture precious moments? Facebook’s algorithm even goes as far as to learn what your face looks like and suggest it on photos of you that pop up for other people, which means that your friends can even tag you in photos that neither of you posted. That’s kind of weird, right? In a way, it’s a part of our modern society, but it’s still creepy.
A lawsuit in California from Illinois residents might be changing all of that, says Ars Technica. A judge found that users in Illinois can sue Facebook for their facial recognition software under the idea that Facebook’s facial recognition tagging software impedes on the Illinois Biometrics Information Privacy Act. Facebook is arguing that facial recognition has nothing to do with biometrics, but a rather academic view of biometrics includes the shape of the body, including facial recognition.
This is an interesting decision considering how Facebook has historically gotten away with whatever they want. Privacy advocates have long been warning of companies like Facebook, Google, and others who have access to large amounts of user data and what they use that data for, while most of us simply click “agree” on long legal notices without a care in the world.
(Via Ars Technica)