Jessica Robles, ‘Patel v Facebook, Inc: The Collection, Storage, and Use of Biometric Data as a Concrete Injury under BIPA’

ABSTRACT
Facebook, Inc (‘Facebook’) amassed one of the most extensive facial- template databases in the world through the use of facial-recognition technology. However, Facebook is not alone; both private and public sector entities are heavily investing in improving their facial-identification technology. Facial geometry data are unique to each person and can be used to identify an individual. Once a facial image has been captured and stored in a facial-template database, ‘the individual has no recourse’ because one cannot change facial geometry as quickly as a password or a social security number.

Although companies may use facial-recognition technology for valid purposes, uses of facial-recognition technology to target specific groups raise ‘questions around abuse, consent, weaponization, and discriminatory uses of this technology’. From a privacy standpoint, the potential use of facial-recognition technology to search against millions of photographs without the consent of ‘law-abiding citizens is a major privacy violation’. These concerns have fueled an increase in data privacy legislation as well as litigation, such as Patel v Facebook, Inc.

Jessica Robles, Patel v Facebook, Inc: The Collection, Storage, and Use of Biometric Data as a Concrete Injury under BIPA, 50 Golden Gate University Law Review 61 (2020).

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