It has recently come to light that a U.S. federal judge has passed final approval on Facebook’s $650 million payment to settle a privacy dispute between the tech giant and 1.6 million users in the state of Illinois.
As reported by AFP, the decision to give final approval to Facebook was issued last week on Friday. Facebook had been sued by Chicago attorney Jay Edelson back in 2015 when he alleged that the social media company violated the 2008 Illinois privacy law by illegally collecting biometric data to track faces via the company’s face-tagging feature. He also alleged that Facebook collected this data without the user’s consent.
Facebook had agreed to pay $550 million by the end of Jan 2020, however, the amount was declined as the judge ruled the amount to be “insufficient”. “We are pleased to have reached a settlement so we can move past this matter which is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders”, said a Facebook spokesperson.
Facebook and privacy-related controversies are quite common. Last month, a lawsuit claimed that Facebook inflated its advertising audiences to generate more advertising revenue. The lawsuit argued that Facebook knowingly didn’t remove duplicate accounts from its “potential reach” tool metrics.
“Facebook did not merely ‘drag its feet’ in providing inaccurate and misleading Potential Reach. Rather, Facebook knew for years its Potential Reach was misleading and concealed that fact to preserve its own bottom line,” plaintiffs’ attorneys argued in a filing. Facebook has been facing this class action lawsuit since 2018 which also claims that Facebook’s platform’s managers knew its “Potential Reach” measure was inflated but didn’t take action on it to keep generating ad revenues.