Texas residents who used to live in Illinois could be entitled to Facebook settlement

And yet another reason not to be on Facebook: facial recognition software. Facebook is literally tracking your face.

If you used to live in Illinois and you moved to Texas, or most other states, you can get up to $400 in compensation– thanks to an Illinois law Facebook violated.

Anyone who left Illinois after 2011 and moved to Texas might be eligible to participate in a cash settlement.

According to IRS data, 158,331 Illinoisans relocated to Texas between 2011 and 2017.

The settlement the social media giant reached with the state of Illinois cost it $650 million. The money will go to individuals who qualify as a member of the class action lawsuit.

Facebook began notifying users on their platform Wednesday evening, directing them to facebookbipaclassaction.com to confirm if they had been a resident of Illinois for at least six months since 2011 to then be able to add their name to the settlement.

“This is a significant settlement in which households could end up with upwards of $800 depending on how many claims are filed,” Christopher Dore, partner at Edelson PC, the Chicago-based law firm that represented the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, said in a statement.

If an individual chooses to join the class-action they have to agree to forego their right to sue Facebook later on.

Since the case is on behalf of anyone who lived in Illinois between June of 2011 Aug. 19 of 2020 and isn’t confined to current residents, hundreds of thousands of former Illinois residents on Facebook could be eligible.

According to IRS data, since 2011, more than 1.8 million people have moved out of Illinois. Most of them have moved to Indiana, Texas, Florida, California, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

Former Illinoisans who moved their Facebook profile with them are likely eligible.

The window to sign up closes on Nov. 23.

The settlement stems from Facebook’s facial recognition feature that captures the details of a user’s face, and then uses that technology to ask that person if another photo on Facebook is them and if they want to be tagged in that photo.

Facebook was sued for storing user’s facial data because it violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, which forbids capture or storage of biometric data without someone’s expressed consent. Fines for violating the law start at $1,000 per violation.

The law, enacted in 2008, has resulted in dozens of lawsuits, most notably against Facebook, Google, Six Flags Great America, and Amazon Web Services.

Illinois’ law differs from other states because the BIPA allows private citizens to sue. In other states, the attorney general must take action under the law.

The threat of litigation has resulted in several technological services to be unavailable in Illinois.

Entering the era of 1984, Google’s Nest cameras, for example, disable a facial recognition feature that allows users to store familiar faces and then give them notifications about when that familiar face or one that’s not known is seen.

This type of technology can also be used to unlock doors when a known person, for example, walks up to the camera and programmed technology allowed them to enter, or prohibits them from entering. This technology is available outside of Illinois.



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