Facebook faces class action suit over facial recognition tool

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Bumble further highlights that other apps that let users register with their phone number still share some information with Facebook, but its new system will bypass Facebook altogether.

The data was collected to enable the company to use its facial recognition technology to provide "tag suggestions" when photographs are posted on the social network.

The technology at the heart of all this is Facebook's "tag suggestion" feature, which suggests who may be in a photo based on an existing database of faces.

A federal judge on Monday said Facebook must face a potentially multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit from a group of IL users who say the company violated a state law that restricts facial recognition software.

Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress over his company's handling of user data.

"That is why I commiserate with those who object the selection of Rappler and Vera Files because we know where they stand in the political spectrum", he continued.

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According to Roque, Facebook users should make their opposition to the move heard.

So the question remains, even if Facebook faces stricter privacy regulation and is forced to crack down on third-party developers on their website, what can be done about outside firms using social media networks as a treasure trove of public user data?

One of the features that Facebook introduced to its platform several years ago was the ability to recognize faces in your photos.

Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, warned that if this facial recognition database had been shared with the USA government, it could pose a significant threat to free speech. This works by matching faces it spots in photographs with stored "face templates" which are created when a user is tagged in a photograph. You can't escape this by saying no.

Facebook might think it's facing enough problems right now, but the company's about to run into another privacy-related headache. Facebook also doesn't allow accessing or collecting information via automated methods, such as harvesting bots or scrapers.