Facebook courts more trouble, now for allowing photo-tagging without permission

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On April 6, a coalition of consumer privacy organizations led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, accusing Facebook of violating individual's privacy via the company's facial recognition practices. The Facebook data also helped Bumble find suitable matches for its users.

Facebook is facing a class action in the US over its "Tag Suggestions" feature, which uses facial recognition to suggest to US Facebook users which of their Facebook friends might be present in photos uploaded to the social network. The feature which is not available to users in most countries, can be turned off in settings for users in the United States.

The coalition also claims Facebook's policy violates the 2011 Consent Order with the Commission, calling the scanning of faces without "unlawful".

Should Facebook lose the case, any member of the group could be entitled to compensation.

Monday's ruling will likely impact the Silicon Valley giant, which has already lost billions of dollars in wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where some 87 million Facebook users had their personal data "mishandled" and shared with a third party.

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The facial recognition feature isn't now available in the UK.

This isn't the only lawsuit against Facebook coming out of IL.

The company is now trying to roll out facial recognition technology inside the European Union again, according to the Irish Times, but on an opt-in basis.

The lawsuit was originally filed in mid-2015 but has been repeatedly kicked down the road with Facebook attempting to have the case dismissed. Those just registering for the app would share their Facebook information, and Bumble got their name, age, occupation, school, and photos from the social network to build a dating profile.

In this case, that group has been defined as users "in IL for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011", which has the potential to cover millions of individuals.

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