Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in the US state of Illinois each receive $ 345 (€ 286) from Facebook. The company used facial recognition without permission to tag people in photos. However, this is not allowed by the strict privacy laws in the state. The judge approved the settlement between Facebook and the users on Friday.
In total, Facebook has to pay almost 540 million euros from the American court. The court calls it one of the largest settlements ever approved for a privacy breach.
Legal and attorney fees must also be paid from the amount. The three residents who started the business will each receive 4,141 euros.
Facebook started facial recognition in June 2011. To do this, it collected photos from users. When a user added a new photo, Facebook checked to see if it could recognize the faces in that photo. The platform then suggested tagging people in photos. With the facial recognition, Facebook wanted more people in photos to tag users.
The state of Illinois has strict rules on biometric data, which includes facial recognition. That is why a lawsuit was filed in the state against Facebook in 2015. The lawsuit was called a class action-lawsuit. Several people can join and jointly sue a company. 1,571,608 residents participated in this lawsuit; over one in five Facebook users in Illinois.
Against the Chicago Tribune One of the lawyers who sued Facebook says residents can expect the money within two months. Facebook says to AP News to be glad that the case is now ready and that everyone can move on.
The platform now handles facial recognition differently. By default, Facebook no longer collects faces. Users must now enable this themselves in the settings. This is not only true in Illinois, but worldwide.