Facebook hit with class action suit over facial recognition tool

Facebook contends it has been very open about the tool since its inception and allows users to turn it off and prevent themselves from being suggested in photo tags. (AFP)
Updated 17 April 2018
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Facebook hit with class action suit over facial recognition tool

SAN FRANCISCO: A US federal judge in California ruled Monday that Facebook will have to face a class action suit over allegations it violated users’ privacy by using a facial recognition tool on their photos without their explicit consent.
The ruling comes as the social network is snared in a scandal over the mishandling of 87 million users’ data ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.
The facial recognition tool, launched in 2010, suggests names for people it identifies in photos uploaded by users — a function which the plaintiffs claim runs afoul of Illinois state law on protecting biometric privacy.
Judge James Donato ruled the claims by Illinois residents Nimesh Patel, Adam Pezen, and Carlo Licata were “sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis.
“Consequently, the case will proceed with a class consisting of Facebook users located in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011,” he said, according to the ruling seen by AFP.
A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was reviewing the decision, adding: “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously.”
Facebook also contends it has been very open about the tool since its inception and allows users to turn it off and prevent themselves from being suggested in photo tags.
The technology was suspended for users in Europe in 2012 over privacy fears.
Also on Monday, Facebook confirmed that it collected information from people beyond their social network use.
“When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account,” product management director David Baser said in a post on the social network’s blog.
Baser said “many” websites and apps use Facebook services to target content and ads, including via the social network’s Like and Share buttons, when people use their Facebook account to log into another website or app and Facebook ads and measurement tools.
But he stressed the practice was widespread, with companies such as Google and Twitter also doing the same.


The Six: The UAE’s most Googled people in 2018

UAE's most Googled people in 2018. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 December 2018
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The Six: The UAE’s most Googled people in 2018

DUBAI: Google recently released its list of the world’s most searched for topics in 2018 and the UAE’s list of the most googled personalities show just how celebrity obsessed we all are at heart.

If you’re late to the party, grab your phone and google these famous names now.

Meghan Markle
The American-born British royal was the most googled personality in the world in 2018 — and UAE-based Internet users mirrored that trend.

Nick Jonas
The second most googled personality in the UAE this year climbed to new heights of fame when he married Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra in December.

Logan Paul
Third on the list is disgraced YouTube star Logan Paul, who was widely criticized at the beginning of the year when he uploaded a video that showed the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan.

Sylvester Stallone
Fourth on the list is “Rocky” star Stallone, who also happens to be the most searched for actor in the world this year.

Freddie Mercury
The UAE’s fifth most googled personality is rock legend Freddie Mercury — most likely due to the release of hit film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Sonam Kapoor
The Bollywood actress rounds out the list of the UAE’s six most googled personalities and her headline-making nuptials in 2018 could be the reason.