WVEL News Scope Now: Money Coming to Illinois Facebook Users

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Facebook will pay $550 million after settling a lawsuit that accused the social media platform of breaking Illinois law. The focus of the case, Facebook’s face-tagging feature. So what law was broken?

It’s called the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and while it does not outlaw Facebook’s face-tagging technology, it does make it clear how such data can be used. And in Illinois — saying you agree to a terms of use is simply not enough.

Whether you feel Facebook’s face ID feature is creepy or convenient, it was rolled out illegally in Illinois. ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Glenberg says in Illinois the company needs to tell the person in writing what information they’re taking and how it is going to be used. Glenberg says Facebook failed to do that.

“These user agreements don’t necessarily provide all the information that is required,” said Glenberg.

And on top of that, Illinois law requires users to provide written consent to the collection of biometric data for things like thumbprint or face IDs;  another thing Facebook did not ask for.

“The Illinois law is extremely strong compared to other states and was really the first law of its kind,” added Glenberg.

The law, passed in 2008, only protects Illinois residents, and is designed to ensure such data is collected properly and stored safely to minimize the risk of data breaches. Right now, as Glenberg explains, there is no official list of users that will get a share of the payout.

“The plaintiff’s lawyers and the the Facebook lawyers will negotiate a method for identifying and notifying all these people.”

We do know that users will have to be from Illinois and have to have posted a picture since 2011. Facebook continues to deny any wrongdoing.

(Information Courtesy Of WEEK-TV)