Facebook and use data privacy really don’t seem to go hand in hand. The social network is now facing a lawsuit for allegedly collecting and storing user biometric data on its photo-sharing app Instagram. In a new lawsuit filed in a state court in Redwood City, California, it is alleged that Facebook stored biometric data, such as from photo tags on the social network, without consent from as many as 100 million Instagram users. The lawsuit not only alleges that Facebook collected that data, but also stored the same and profited from it.
The lawsuit states that it was only at the beginning of this year that Instagram started to alert users that it was collecting biometric data. “This suit is baseless. Instagram doesn’t use face recognition technology,” said Stephanie Otway, a Facebook company spokesperson, in a statement reported by Bloomberg. This comes after the events of last month that saw Facebook offer to pay $650 million to settle a lawsuit in which it was accused of illegally collecting biometric data through a photo-tagging tool provided to Facebook users.
Instagram’s data policy says, “If you have it turned on, we use face recognition technology to recognize you in photos, videos and camera experiences. The face-recognition templates we create may constitute data with special protections under the laws of your country. Learn more about how we use face recognition technology or control our use of this technology in Facebook Settings.” At the same time, the policy also says, “If we introduce face-recognition technology to your Instagram experience, we will let you know first, and you will have control over whether we use this technology for you.”