Facebook facing new $500 billion lawsuit.

  • Facebook-owned Instagram, accused of illegally collecting users’ biometric data.
  • May face fines of upto $5000 per violation.
  • Facebook spokesperson rubbishes allegations, calling them ‘baseless’.

Facebook is facing yet another lawsuit that it illegally harvests biometric data of users on it’s photo-sharing platform, Instagram.

The lawsuit, filed on 10th August, in California has accused the company of collecting, storing and profiling the biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without their consent.

Kelly Whalen, an Illinois resident, alleged in her complaint that the app violates a state privacy law that bars unauthorised collection of biometric data. If found true, the company maybe forced to pay $1000 per violation or $5000 if found to have acted intentionally. According to the suit, only in the beginning of this year did Facebook start informing Instagram users that it was collecting their biometric data.

Instagram’s data policy on face recognition states, “If we introduce face recognition to your Instagram experience, we will let you know first and you will have control over whether we use this technology for you.”

Stephanie Otway, a Facebook spokesperson dismissed these allegations as baseless, stating that Instagram does not use face recognition technology.

Just last month, Facebook settled a lawsuit regarding illegal collection of biometric data through the photo-tagging feature on Facebook to a tune of $650 million.

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