Facebook sued over 'illegally collecting biometric data' of Instagram users

Instagram logo on phone
Instagram logo on phone (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook has been sued in California.
  • It's over allegations it collected the biometric data of 100 million Instagram users.
  • It is claimed Facebook stored and profited from the data without users' knowledge or consent.

A new lawsuit filed against Facebook claims it illegally collected the biometric data of 100 million users without their knowledge or consent.

As reported by Bloomberg:

Facebook Inc. is facing new allegations that it illegally harvests the biometric data of users, this time in a lawsuit that targets the company's photo-sharing app Instagram.

As the report notes, Facebook has already offered to pay up $650 million in order to settle a similar lawsuit claiming it illegally collected biometric data using a photo-tagging tool for Facebook.

Now, a new lawsuit filed Monday claims something similar may have happened on Instagram:

In the new lawsuit, filed Monday in state court in Redwood City, California, the company is accused of collecting, storing and profiting from the biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without their knowledge or consent.

According to Illinois privacy law, the unauthorized collection of biometric data is prohibited, and companies can be forced to pay up to $1,000 per violation. The claims that it was not until the beginning of 2020 that Facebook started informing Instagram users of the practice.

Regarding the earlier Facebook case, a judge rejected Facebook's offer to settle up for $550 million, stating it was a "significant reduction" from the $1,000 set by Illinois legislature. A revised offer of $650 million was agreed by both parties but has not been approved by the judge as yet. If the settlement goes through, affected users could be paid between $200 and $400 each.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9