Facebook Inc. (FB) is grappling with yet another controversy over its privacy policies. This time, Facebook users are upset about how the company uses photo-scanning technology.
Millions of Facebook users can move forward with claims that the photo-scanning technology was used in violation of an Illinois law that prohibits companies from keeping biometric data without users consent, according to a recent ruling by a federal judge.
The class-action lawsuit could result in Facebook paying billions of dollars in damages.
Facebook used a program called DeepFace to match photos of a person tagged in a picture to other photos of them. Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google Photos also has similar photo-scanning technology, and is now facing a lawsuit in Chicago. (See also: 10 Techs Pulled Down by Facebook Now Poised to Rise.)
“As more people become aware of the scope of Facebook’s data collection and as consequences begin to attach to that data collection, whether economic or regulatory, Facebook will have to take a long look at its privacy practices and make changes consistent with user expectations and regulatory requirements,” said Facebook users’ lawyer Shawn Williams, according to Bloomberg.
For its part, Facebook said it believes the case has “no merit.” It argues that individuals, and not a group, should bring cases forward and prove injury one-by-one.
In other Facebook news, asset manager BlackRock Inc.’s (BLK) Global Allocation Fund recently increased its stake in the social media giant to make it one of its top 10 holdings, according to Reuters. The Global Allocation Fund is the largest stock-picking fund.
BlackRock seems to be betting that Facebook’s privacy scandals are short-term hurdles at a time when other funds are unloading their positions. (See also: Fund Managers Dropping, Cutting Positions in Facebook.)