Facebook to face lawsuit over its face-recognition system

New York, May 7 (IANS) A San Francisco federal judge on Friday ruled against a request by Facebook to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the social networking giant’s photo tagging system violates user privacy.

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook’s biometric software violates Illinois’s biometric information privacy act by violating user privacy as it creates faceprints without explicit consent, The Verge reported.

The digital faceprints are used to identify users to suggest tags for uploaded photos.
The photo-tagging system is disclosed in the company’s privacy policy.

User can opt out of it but it is unclear whether those measures will satisfy the legal definition of consent, the report added.

“The court accepts as true plaintiffs’ allegations that Facebook’s face recognition technology involves a scan of face geometry that was done without plaintiffs’ consent,” the judge ruled.

“This lawsuit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” a Facebook spokesperson had earlier said.

But with the fresh decision, the plaintiffs — Carlo Licata, Adam Pezen and Indian-origin Nimesh Patel — have a valid claim under the Illinois biometrics law and the case can proceed.

This is not the first time Facebook’s photo tagging policy has faced criticism.

According to a report in the Tribune, this feature is unavailable in Europe as privacy concerns forced Facebook into deleting the geometric face data of its European users from its database.

Facebook had launched the photo-tagging system six years back.

Gift a flower to your mom on Facebook this Mother’s Day

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Facebook, in a bid to celebrate Mother’s Day with women across the globe, has introduced a special feature to help its users send floral decorated greetings to their mothers via Messenger, the social networking giant recently announced.

“For a short time (May 7-May 9), you’ll see a new purple flower icon in Messenger. Tap on the flower to decorate your messages – text, photos, GIFs and more – with colourful blooms. The person you’re sending the message to will see the flowers on their end, too,” the statament said.

Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 8.

“We hope you enjoy sharing these sweet flowers as you celebrate….whether that’s by being with your mom, or by thanking all the moms that make up your virtual village, the mother-like figures you learn from and all your special friends,” Facebook Messenger said in its post.

In addition, Facebook has also introduced new stickers just for Mother’s Day called as motherly love.

The feature is active in 82 countries including India till May 9.

The special feature marks the first time the company has offered a temporary reaction, and comes three months after it expanded the like button to include a range of other responses.

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