A suit has been filed in Illinois against Facebook-owned Instagram for illegally collecting, storing and distributing biometric data from users. The class action lawsuit alleges that Instagram was taking facial recognition data from users without their knowledge or permission and using it illegally, including selling it.
Facebook’s leadership has repeatedly been called to testify before Congress for its breaches of privacy data. As recently as July, Facebook was fined $650 million for illegal use of facial recognition user data.
Illinois law calls for fines of up to $5000 per incident of using private data illegally. With Instagram’s roughly 100 million users, that could mean fines of up to $500 billion.
Facebook has repeatedly ignored laws dealing with keep user information private. Even when fined, the fines are small compared to the money that the social media giant is making so there is no need for them to change their illegal behavior. It’s just a cost of doing business.
That needs to change. Fines need to be large enough to change behavior and Mark Zuckerburg and his leadership team need to be held responsible for their decisions to deliberately ignore the law and our expense.