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US District Judge Dismisses a Facial Recognition Lawsuit Against Google

By Nitish Singh / December 31, 2018

A lawsuit was filed against Google by consumers who felt violated by the company’s facial recognition software. It was claimed that the facial recognition software was responsible for storing photographs without permission via the Google Photos service. The lawsuit was filed in the state of Illinois, but it turns out that the plaintiffs’ claims do not hold up in court and was dismissed.

Illinois District Judge Edmond Chang summarized his judgment (case Rivera v Google, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 16-02714) in favor of Google stating that the plaintiffs did suffer any concrete injuries due to their images being collected and stored by the company. The plaintiffs had demanded $5 million for all citizens of Illinois who were “affected” by Google’s activity.

The demands of the plaintiffs included $5,000 for every act of intentional violation along with $1,000 for every unintentional violation against citizens eligible to be compensated under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. There are hundreds of thousands of citizens affected according to the plaintiffs, but the court thinks otherwise.

The attorneys of the plaintiffs did not comment after losing the lawsuit, and it has been declared that they are not eligible to receive any kind of compensation from Google. Unless the private data of citizens is misused in any way, any attempts to file a similar lawsuit will be without any merit.

It is justifiable for the citizens to be concerned about their privacy especially with a number of security incidents involving private user data in the past couple years with the Cambridge Analytica scandal being the most notable of them all. However, unless any harm is caused by data collection, lawsuits similar to Google’s are unlikely to hold up in court.

What do you think about the facial recognition lawsuit filed against Google? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to also visit our socials on Facebook and Twitter for an additional dose of daily tech news.



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