In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Updated: October 18, 2019

Status: Ongoing Case

On April 21, 2015, Labaton Sucharow filed a class action complaint on behalf of certain Illinois Facebook users and non-users alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by Facebook. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Facebook violates the statute by virtue of its facial recognition software that collects and stores biometric information, in the form of face templates extracted from photographs uploaded to the website, in connection with its “Tag Suggestions” feature without first obtaining informed written consent.

The defendants argued that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under BIPA and that a California choice-of-law provision in the Facebook user agreement precluded suing on an Illinois statute. On May 5, 2016, the court ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, finding that Illinois law applies and that the plaintiffs stated a claim under BIPA.

On February 7, 2017, the court denied the defendants’ second motion to dismiss. Class certification was granted on April 16, 2018 and motions for summary judgment were denied on May 14, 2018. On August 8, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals published a precedential opinion affirming the district court's class certification decision, and on October 18, 2019, the Ninth Circuit denied Facebook's petition for a rehearing en banc.  

The case is In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litig., No. 15-cv-03747 (N.D. Cal.).