A US judge has ruled that users can bring a class action against Facebook for improperly using their uploaded photographs for facial recognition, TechCrunch reported.
Three Facebook users are the plaintiffs in the case.
They argued that Illinois state law prohibits a private entity such as Facebook from collecting and storing a person’s biometric data without their written consent.
Known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act, it blocks private entities from selling, leasing, trading, or profiting from a person’s biometric data.
The case was moved to San Francisco at Facebook’s request.
Penalties of up to $5,000 for every time a photo of a user’s face is used without his or her permission are sought as relief. According to the judge, the potential damages could amount to billions of dollars.
Facebook said the case is without merit and it will defend itself vigorously.
NPR reported that the social network argued the plaintiffs should pursue their legal claims individually.