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Is Facebook violating Illinois privacy rights?

Illinois might be leading the way in protecting individual privacy rights in the market place in the digital age.

While most people don’t think twice about it, there are significant numbers of people who approach Facebook and other social media platforms with some cautious trepidation. For some, the fear is that their privacy rights could be violated. Of course, the primary use of Facebook has been people sharing their lives with the world in a very public manner. So, for most people, the privacy concerns are not of the highest importance.

However, there are some who object to Facebook’s use of facial recognition software, and the Illinois legislature might be on the cutting edge of protecting people’s privacy rights in this regard.

Is Facebook violating your privacy rights?

According to a recent article in Forbes, Facebook has been named defendant in a class action lawsuit based on Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) of 2008.

Facebook uses “tags” that identify people in photographs uploaded to the platform. Recently, Facebook began using tag suggestions that use facial recognition applications to identify people in future pictures that are uploaded.

According to BIPA, individuals must grant permission before their biometric information is obtained, stored or used by a private entity. So, under the Act, people are protected against private parties using information like fingerprints or face recognition software.

This class-action lawsuit against Facebook comes alongside similar claims against Snapchat and Shutterfly.

Will Facebook have to stop using tag suggestions?

These claims against Facebook and related social media entities are among the first of their kind, and Illinois is one of only a few states with these types of laws on the books. It will be interesting to see how the Illinois courts decide on these issues and the scope that these decisions will have.