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Facebook objects to release of data in class action lawsuit

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Facebook objects to release of data in class action lawsuit

An Illinois law is proving a thorn in Facebook’s side as a class action lawsuit, alleging mishandling of biometric information, moves toward trial.

The latest developments in the case have the social network objecting against releasing or even admitting the existence of all manner of data, but the plaintiffs aren’t taking “objection” for an answer.

The case revolves around a 2008 state law known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act, BIPA, which basically makes it illegal to collect or use biometric data, such as a “scan of hand or face geometry,” without rigorous disclosure of methods, intentions and guarantees regarding that data.

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The class action suit, filed in mid-2015, alleges that Facebook has knowingly failed to perform this disclosure for its many Illinois users.

Separate suits have been filed against Shutterfly, Snapchat and Google. The Shutterfly suit was settled, and Snapchat’s sent to arbitration.

The Google case is technically ongoing, but the company argues that analysis of digital photos doesn’t count as biometric data, nor could an Illinois law prevent a California company from performing such analysis outside Illinois.

Facebook has likewise fought the suit, aiming for dismissal under similar arguments.

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