Privacy regulation coincides with growing public concern about the spread of effective surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition. Companies like Amazon and Clearview AI market match software to law enforcement to help them identify unknown suspects. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have warned that the dissemination of these services could end citizens` ability to remain anonymous in the public. The revised settlement agreement resolved the court`s concerns, which led to provisional authorization of the class action, Justice James Donato wrote in an order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Facebook added an additional $100 million to its proposal. According to court documents, each affected user will be net $200 to $400 per dollar. The transaction was agreed by both parties to the appeal, but has yet to be approved by a judge. « If the penalty is just a fine, it`s the cost of doing business for them, » Williams said. « An agreement like (the Facebook case), we`re talking about the real money that`s going to go to consumers. » In March 2010, Judge Richard Seeborg issued an order authorizing class comparison in Lane v. Facebook, Inc. This complaint alleged that the user`s private information was posted on Facebook via Facebook`s Beacon program. A glimmer of hope in all of this for Facebook, in fact, is that $650 million in billing. Although it is obviously a lot of money, it is much less than the $47 billion it would have lost if the case was brought to court and, if accepted this time by the judge, means the end of an expensive complaint.
Facebook`s latest quarterly report reported revenue of nearly $18 billion, almost all from advertising. A loss of $650 million will not be recorded. « We decided to follow a transaction because it was in the best interest of our community and our shareholders to get through this matter, » a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. The FTC has just announced details of its transaction agreement with Facebook during years of data protection practices in violation of an earlier order. To say that the comparison is favourable to Facebook, even with the record fine of $5 billion, is an understatement; The company`s lawyers are probably skipping champagne. Here`s why. While U.S. District Judge James Donato gave preliminary approval to the August 19 comparison, users cannot receive payment until next year, according to Gilardi and Co., a damage management company involved in the comparison. The company said on the claims website payments are usually made two months after the court`s final approval. A final approval hearing is scheduled for January 7. To qualify, applicants must have lived in Illinois for at least six months.
The judge in the case said the transaction applies to « Facebook users in Illinois, for whom Facebook created and registered a facial model after June 7, 2011. » This is a business model that any consumer protection regulator should give a break, yet this regime is an unspoken endorsement. The order is really a little more than extra paperwork to fill out for Facebook, while it follows its initial course without divergence.