Recently millions of Illinois residents received checks up to $397, thanks to a class-action lawsuit settled against Facebook.
If you’ve ever been tagged in a photo online, you might have some cash coming your way — and soon.
Earlier this month, more than 1.4 million long- and short-term residents of Illinois started receiving checks for up to $397, as compensation for a $650 million class action lawsuit settled against Facebook.
According to the plaintiffs, the social media platform illegally used facial recognition data — gathered without consent — to prompt users to tag their friends in photos.
Facebook users might more commonly know this as "Tag Suggestions" notifications.
More checks from privacy lawsuits are likely on the horizon. Google Photos and Shutterfly incurred similar class action lawsuits in Illinois, and have entered approval stages of multimillion-dollar settlements within the past year.
The Illinois law is one of the strictest in the country. Similar laws also exist in Texas and Washington, and are set to go into effect next year in California, Colorado and Virginia.
Being auto-tagged in photos may not seem like a huge deal, but once tagged, your face can become available to companies outside your photo platform’s walls. New York-based software company Clearview AI, for example, somewhat infamously claims to have scraped more than 20 billion images from websites like Facebook, YouTube for a massive facial recognition database available to paying companies.
The lawsuits and settlements are already making an impact. Earlier this month, Clearview AI agreed to halt access to its facial recognition databases to several companies in the U.S., shifting a majority of its services to solely law enforcement as a part of a recent settlement. Facebook and Instagram users in Illinois and Texas can’t access “face filter” services anymore.
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