Instagram Accused of Illegally Harvesting Biometric Data
Facebook, owner of Instagram, is facing a lawsuit over allegedly harvesting the biometric data of users, according to Bloomberg.
Last month, Facebook offered to pay a $650 million settlement in a similar lawsuit in which it was accused of illegally collecting biometric data via Facebook's photo-tagging feature. The settlement has not yet been approved by the judge, but if it is, affected users could be paid up to $400 each.
The new case was filed in California state court on Monday. Facebook was specifically accused of collecting, storing, and profiting from the biometric data of over 100 million Instagram users. Crucially, users did not give consent and were not aware of this alleged data-harvesting. Users were only made aware of biometric data collection on Instagram at the start of this year, but it is believed to have occurred for some time before that.
The lawsuit adds that unauthorized collection of biometric data would be a violation of Illinois privacy law, in which case Facebook could be forced to pay up to $5,000 per violation. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg.