Facebook pays 1.6 million Americans $400

The platform was sued in the state of Illinois for using a facial recognition tool without users’ consent. It must pay a total of 650 million dollars.

It is a good surprise to which many Americans living in the State of Illinois (United States) were entitled. According to testimonies published on social networks, users or former users of Facebook have received in their bank account or on PayPal the sum of 397 dollars. If some people first thought it was a scam, it is not.

This payment is the result of an agreement between Facebook and local justice, after a dispute concerning the illegal use of its facial recognition tool, called Face Recognition.

Used all over the world – including in France – automatically until 2019, the system was used to automatically suggest the names of friends to identify them in a photo.

$650 million payout

Over the next few days, all Internet users who have completed a form during the class action against Facebook will benefit from this financial compensation. In February 2021, the company reached an agreement with the local justice for a global payment of 650 million dollars. In total, about 1.6 million people will benefit.

These lawsuits are explained by the legal framework of Illinois, which is particularly protective of the biometric data of Internet users. As reminds NBC Newsa law adopted in 2008 allows any individual to sue a company that has not collected their consent to process data related to their face or fingerprints.

Faced with criticism of the massive use of its facial recognition tool without the consent of its users, Facebook had deactivated Face Recognition by default, before permanently deleting it from its platform.

But as she recalled at the end of 2021, the company still plans to work on facial recognition systems. With, for example, potential uses within the framework of the development of its “metaverse”.

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