Facebook has been accused of building a giant database of biometric information on people’s faces against their will, in court documents filed against the firm in the US.
Filed on April 1, the class action suit lodged by the Edelson law firm on behalf of plaintiff Carlo Licata says Facebook’s actions violate the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Facebook uses facial recognition technology developed by the company Face.com, which it acquired in 2008. It uses the technology to scan uploaded images and make friend “tag” suggestions to its users.
According to Licata’s complaint, the BIPA makes it “unlawful for a company to, among other things, ‘collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person’s or a customer’s biometric identifiers or biometric information'” without informing that person or customer and receiving written consent.
The BIP Act prohibits the collection of biometric information without consent. Licata is arguing that Facebook has hidden such practices from its userbase, explaining that it “actively conceals” the database and “doesn’t disclose its wholesale biometrics data collection practices in its privacy policies”.
Licata is seeking an injunction against Facebook and its tagging and identification practices, and an end to the “surreptitious collection, use and storage” of personal details.