The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco affirmed the district court order certifying a class action against a social network company’s facial recognition technology. Plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that company illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent. The opinion states:
Specifically, the panel concluded that the development of a face template using facial-recognition technology without consent (as alleged in this case) invades an individual’s private affairs and concrete interests. The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the class. Specifically, the panel rejected the social network company’s argument that Illinois’s extraterritoriality doctrine precluded the district court from finding predominance. The panel further held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that a class action was superior to individual actions in this case.
While the company argued that the users had experienced no concrete harm, the appellate panel noted that intangible injuries can still be concrete. According to the ACLU, this is the first decision by a U.S. appellate court to directly address privacy concerns posed by facial recognition technology. ACLU.com writes:
Technological innovation has outpaced our privacy protections. As a result, our digital footprint can be tracked by the government and corporations in ways that were once unthinkable…
On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became the first appellate court in the nation to directly address the privacy harms posed by face recognition technology. The decision is a significant advance in the fight against the threats of face surveillance, sounding the alarm on the potential for this technology to seriously violate people’s privacy.
Allegations of privacy violations can relate to consumer protection, business practices, etc. Analysis and testimony by a privacy expert witness may be required to determine whether a company failed to enforce the proper consumer protection policies and whether privacy laws and regulations have been breached. ForensisGroup provides only the best experts to attorneys, no matter what the field. Contact ForensisGroup to find an authoritative privacy expert witness for your case.