Mark Zuckerberg is having quite the month. Less than a week after the tech world's aging Doogie Howser testified before Congress about Facebook's role in the Cambridge Analytica fuck up, a federal judge in California ruled Monday that the company will have to face a class action lawsuit for allegedly violating Illinois state law by collecting and storing biometric data (e.g. pics) without user consent.
Beginning in 2011, according to the suit, Facebook launched a feature called "Tag Suggestions," that was powered by facial recognition software that goes through a four-step process to identify faces in pics uploaded to the platform. While Facebook—which successfully had the case moved from Illinois to California—argued the users haven’t suffered a concrete injury from having their biometric data stored, under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, each time a person’s image is used without consent could result in a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 for the company.
This could end up costing the company billions. So, even if the #deleteFacebook boycott doesn't take off, and even if Congress decides not to act on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn't drink ayahuasca and have a vision of a better world without Facebook and decide to shut the whole shit show down, perhaps class actions like this will chip away at the social media giant until it's nothing but a few coders in Menlo Park poking each other in their VR headsets. Here's hoping.