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Facebook meet Certified Class

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Posted on April 17 2018

Federal Judge certifies class...


Setting aside the ever growing Facebook & Cambridge Analytical mess, which was previously discussed here and their FTC woes, discussed here and State Attorneys General. Letter to Facebook discussed here and the Cook County State’s Attorney Lawsuit, discussed here 


One could argue Facebook is having a terrible 2018.

Funny how life can boomerang and smack you hard. Back in 2015 a Lawsuit was filed against Facebook regarding pictures and bio-metrics. I’d link you to my twitter thread, but sadly I can’t because Twitter and trolls shuttered that account and poof my research is lost into the digital ether. Sorry I momentarily digressed.

This 2015 lawsuit alleged, Facebook's "tag suggestions" violate Illinois biometric privacy Act

IL Biometric Privacy Act



In simpler terms: the Plaintiff argued that at no time did he ever consent (in writing) for Facebook to collect, store or use his image, ergo biometric data. And when I say Facebook put up a hefty legal fight. They did and then some.


You can read the original 2015 Patel v Facebook Complaint here. I pulled out a few highlights below.

‘Inter alia, that private entities like Facebook may not obtain a person’s biometric information in any way unless it first

  • (1) informs that person in writing that biometric information will be collected or stored;


  • (2) informs that person in writing of the specific purpose and length of term for which such biometric information is being collected, stored and used; and 


  • (3) receives a written release from the person for the collection of his or her biometric information. See 740 ILCS 14/15(b). 


So after nearly three years of a protracted legal fight.

Yesterday a Federal Judge certified a class.

In Judge James Donato 15 page ruling:

  • that "Facebook users living in Illinois whose face appeared in a photo uploaded to Facebook from Illinois between June 7, 2011," may proceed with the class action lawsuit.


  • Judge Donato found the plaintiffs met all four requirements necessary to bring a class action lawsuit:
    • (1) the class is "so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable";
    • (2) there are questions of law or fact in common;
    • (3) the parties' claims or defenses are "typical of the claims or defenses of the class"; and
    • (4) the named parties proved they would "fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class."


Patel’s lawsuit sought representation of "people living in Illinois for whom Facebook has a stored 'face template' that was created between June 7, 2011," The court denied class action on this claim... you can read the 15 page ruling here



So Mr. Zuckerberg how sorry are you or was this just another public relations show in front of lawmakers?

While you're here, throw us a bone.

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