(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Facebook Inc’s
The 3-0 decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco exposes Facebook to billions of dollars in potential damages to the Illinois users who brought the case.
The lawsuit began in 2015, when Illinois users accused Facebook of violating that state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act by using facial recognition technology to collect biometric data.
Writing for the appeals court, Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta said the Illinois users could sue as a group, rejecting Facebook’s argument their claims were unique and required individual lawsuits.
The appeals court returned the case to U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco, who had certified a class action in April 2018, for a possible trial unless Facebook successfully appeals.
Federal court procedures allowed the plaintiffs to sue Facebook in California though they called Illinois home.
The case is Patel et al v Facebook Inc, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 19-15982.