Facebook may overlook billions in damages related to the unsolicited storage of biometric data. A verdict from a federal professional judge from San Francisco allows the social media company to expect a collective claim on behalf of millions of users.

The case goes back to 2011 and concerns users from the state of Illinois, who were tagged on photos by Facebook's face recognition technology. Facebook collected the data from this in a company-controlled database. The users state that they have never given permission for this.

Facebook tried to prevent collective damage claims through the courts. But this request has now been rejected. At the end of last year, Google was still at the longest end in a similar case.

It is no coincidence that the case concerns users from Illinois. Illinois is one of the few US states with extensive legislation on biometric data.

The complainants claim that Facebook has violated those laws and must tap up to thousands of dollars per photo. The company itself does not agree with this and argues that the users could unsubscribe from the service at any time.