Facebook, Instagram's parent company, has been taken to court in the United States for allegedly collecting the faces of people in photos on Instagram without their knowledge or permission. Business Insider writes that on Wednesday.
The complaint alleges that Instagram uses a tool that stores "face templates" of users in a database, which allows the platform to recognize people's faces. Instagram mentions this in the platform's terms of service, but according to the prosecution, the tool is automatically deployed on all people who appear in photos posted to Instagram, regardless of whether they have agreed to Instagram's terms or use Instagram at all.
"Once Facebook captures Instagram users' biometric data, it uses it to enhance facial recognition for all of its products, including the Facebook application, and shares this information with various entities," the complaint continues.
According to the prosecution, this would violate an Illinois state privacy law. This law prohibits companies from collecting biometric data from people - such as an image of a face - without their knowledge or consent.
Compensation can be as high as $ 500 million
The indictment claims damages for 100 million Instagram users. It is a class-action lawsuit where more people can join the prosecution.
Under Illinois law, Facebook can be forced to pay $ 1,000-5,000 for each violation. The compensation can therefore amount to 500 million dollars, about 424 million euros. Facebook has not yet responded to the charges.
The indictment comes a month after Facebook has been settled for $ 650 million in a lawsuit claiming that a similar tool was used on Facebook users without their consent.