REPORT: Social media giant scolded by judge over ‘troubling theme’ in privacy case

BY KAT SHEPHERD / MAY 14, 2018 /

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A judge scolded Facebook Inc. for misconstruing his own rulings as he ordered the company to face a high-stakes trial accusing it of violating user privacy.

The social media giant has misinterpreted prior court orders by continuing to assert the “faulty proposition” that users can’t win their lawsuit under an Illinois biometric privacy law without proving an “actual injury,” U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a ruling Monday. Likewise, the company’s argument that it’s immune from having to pay a minimum of $1,000, and as much as $5,000, for each violation of the law is “not a sound proposition,” he said.

The article goes on to say:

Under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, the damages in play at a jury trial set for July 9 in San Francisco could easily reach into the billions of dollars for the millions of users whose photos were allegedly scanned without consent.

Apart from his concerns about the “troubling theme” in Facebook’s legal arguments, Donato ruled a trial must go forward because there are multiple factual issues in dispute, including a sharp disagreement over how the company’s photo-tagging software processes human faces.

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