An estimated 1.6 million Illinois residents can request payments of at least $ 345 each.
Facebook is set to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit alleging the social media company violated Illinois digital privacy laws.
A California-based judge issued final approval for the settlement on Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune. Under the terms of the agreement, Facebook must act “as soon as possible” to pay out $ 650 million to hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents.
Eligible applicants, according to the Tribune, are eligible for payments of at least $ 345 each.
Jay Edelson, a Chicago attorney who represented the class of plaintiffs, said checks could be mailed within the next six weeks – provided, of course, Facebook doesn’t appeal the award.
In his decision, the US District Judge James Donato stated that the agreement is one of the largest settlements ever to belong to in terms of data protection.
“In any event, the $ 650 million settlement in this class action lawsuit against biometric privacy is a landmark achievement. It’s one of the largest settlements ever to have a privacy breach and it will give at least $ 345 to any class member interested in compensation, ”said US District Judge James Donato.
“Overall,” Donato wrote, “the deal is a huge win for consumers in the highly competitive digital privacy space.”
Donato suggested that the size of the settlement also has important implications.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckberberg in 2018. Image via Wikimedia Commons / User: Anthony Quintano. (CCA-BY-2.0).
“One of the key takeaways is the Court’s laser focus on innovating notices and ensuring unprecedented loss rates,” he said. “Settlements have to be measured by how much money goes to the participants. If no one takes part, that’s a problem. The Court’s approach set new standards. “
According to FOX Business, Illinois is the only state where residents can claim monetary damages if their digital privacy rights have been violated. This is because the state’s Biometric Information Protection Act is one of the strictest digital privacy laws in the country. Businesses need to get consumer consent before using technologies like facial recognition to identify individual users.
As LegalReader previously reported, Facebook allegedly used facial recognition software to make “tagging” easier – a feature that scans user-uploaded photos and then suggests “tags” for each person they contain.
Facebook had originally offered to settle the lawsuit for approximately $ 550 million, but that amount was criticized as being too small by Judge Donato.
“It’s $ 550 million. That is much. But the question is, is it really a lot? “Said Donato in July.” You’re actually taking a 98.75 percent discount on the amount Illinois lawmakers have declared due when you prove your case. “
The agreement now concluded could set a precedent for other pending cases. Lawsuits are currently being filed against Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, all of which are alleged to have similarly violated Illinois biometric security laws.
Facebook Privacy Agreement Approved: Nearly 1.6 million Illinois users “fast” get at least $ 345
Illinois Facebook users could get $ 345 each for a photo-tagging lawsuit after the judge clears a $ 650 million settlement
The judge approves a Facebook privacy agreement for $ 650 million for the facial recognition feature