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Facebook users in Illinois may be paid $345 as Mark Zuckerberg’s company settles privacy lawsuit

Photo by: Esther Vargas/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Facebook is paying $650 million to settle a privacy lawsuit concerning its face-tagging feature. The federal judge just approved the settlement this past weekend.

Facebook to settle privacy legal battle

The lawsuit stemmed from the complaints of users who said that Facebook has been using their biometric data without permission. The photo face-tagging feature is also included in the complaint since the social media networking platform has been automatically tagging them in some posts.

As per AP News, U.S. District Judge James Donato just approved the settlement deal for the class-action suit that was filed in 2015. In the filing, almost 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois have submitted claims, and they will be included in the settlement.

The judge said that this is one of the biggest settlements for a privacy violation offense. This is because Mark Zuckerberg’s company will be paying those 1.6 million users to settle the case.

If the total settlement money is divided, people in Illinois will be able to receive more than $300. This is truly a major win for the consumers who are fighting for digital privacy rights.

“It will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated,” Donato said in the decision.

The Chicago-based lawyer who filed the case against Facebook, Jay Edelson, told the press that Facebook users who filed a claim will start receiving their checks through mail within two months. However, he noted that if the ruling is appealed, then there will be no checks to distribute.

Facebook’s response to the settlement

Fox Business reported that Facebook agreed to pay the huge settlement in July last year after the case was filed in Illinois due to the platform’s facial recognition technology that the civil lawsuit claimed to have violated the state's biometric privacy law. With the latest development of the case, the tech company is content with the agreement.

“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,” Facebook said in a statement.

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