Facebook to pay $ 650 million to close privacy dispute

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A U.S. federal judge has approved Facebook’s payment of $ 650 million to end a privacy dispute between the California group and 1.6 million users.

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“We are happy to have reached a settlement […], which is in the interest of our community and our shareholders ”, reacted a spokesperson for Facebook in a written statement sent to AFP.

The decision was made Friday, according to the document consulted Sunday by AFP.

Chicago attorney Jay Edelson sued Facebook in 2015 alleging the social network illegally collected biometric data to identify faces, in violation of a privacy law in his state of Illinois. dating from 2008.

At the end of January 2020, Facebook had agreed to pay $ 550 million after failing to obtain a dismissal in this procedure which had taken the form of a “class action(Collective name proceedings) in 2018 after the initial complaint filed in 2015.

But in July 2020, the judge in the case found that this amount was insufficient.

During the trial, it emerged that Facebook was storing biometric data without users’ consent, in violation of Illinois law.

In 2019, Facebook proposed that the facial recognition feature be optional.

The judge called the settlement “historic”, representing a “major victory for consumers in the very controversial area of ​​digital privacy”.

“This is one of the biggest settlements ever found for [un litige concernant] a violation of privacy, ”he also commented, adding that the plaintiffs will receive compensation of at least $ 345 each.