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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Facebook’s Instagram May Be Fined Half a Trillion Dollars For Illegally Collecting Biometric Data


FastNewsinc With over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram has indeed taken a place as one of the most popular social networks in the world.

However, despite its popularity, we have to mention who’s running the platform – Facebook. The company is known for previous scandals. 

In the past, Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users, resulting in a record-breaking $5 billion fine to the FTC.

Now, history repeats itself, but on a grander scale as Instagram is coming under fire for a data scandal of its own . 

Apparently, Instagram is using Facebook-owned facial recognition software to collect biometric data without users’ permission. What is this about and how did Facebook respond? Find out below Free You Tube Downloader.

The lawsuit: Whalen v. Facebook

The problem lies in Facebook as it collected vast amounts of user data without permission — and possibly violated federal law in the process.

A while ago, six years to be exact, Facebook deactivated this technology in Europe, after questions were raised about its consent system.

So, basically, we can say that Facebook is taking a risky move by reintroducing it as part of its “user permission process” update in the European region.

The problem doesn’t lie here. In fact, having facial recognition collect data is part of what Facebook does. Instagram does disclose this practice in its terms of service.

According to Facebook:

“Face recognition technology allows us to help protect you from a stranger using your photo to impersonate you.”

Now, the lawsuit does not include those who have agreed to Facebook’s terms. On the contrary, it’s all about those who haven’t done so.

According to the lawsuit filed by Kelly Whalen (An Illinois Resident), the tool is automatically scanning faces of people included in other users’ pictures and posts. 

While the users already agreed to the terms of service, the ones included in the posts did not, or do not use Instagram, to begin with. 

The plaintiffs wrote the following in their complaint:

“Once Facebook captures its Instagram users’ protected biometrics, it uses them to bolster its facial recognition abilities across all of its products, including the Facebook application, and shares this information among various entities. Facebook does all of this without providing any of the required notices or disclosures required by Illinois law.”

In response to that, Stephanie Otway responded to the allegation by stating that Instagram does not use facial recognition the way Facebook does.

All in all, the lawsuit seeks for over 100 million users. According to Illinois law, a fine that goes between $1,000 and $5,000 per violation should be paid. 

In other words, we assume that Facebook would end up paying around $500 billion if the allegations are found to be true. 

Final Words

Having your data collected is a complete invasion of privacy. Whether Facebook is really collecting user information or not, certain precautions should always be taken when browsing the web.

That’s why having basic knowledge about internet security is crucial nowadays. There are websites such as The VPN Guru that guide you through every little detail about protecting your privacy. Check them out and worry not about your data falling into the wrong hands.

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