On June 7, 2011, social media giant Facebook Inc. debuted its facial recognition tool to all of its users. The facial recognition tool has the capability of identifying individuals automatically in photographs uploaded to Facebook by its users. Soon thereafter, the facial recognition tool prompted privacy concerns and ultimately led to a complaint being filed with the Federal Trade Commission. While at first denying its use of facial recognition technology, Facebook eventually admitted to its use of the technology. However, Facebook failed to acknowledge that it collected and stored the biometric data—data that is considered highly sensitive—of all of its users without their consent. Accordingly, Facebook violated the privacy rights of its users when it covertly collected and stored the data. Although it may be possible for users to bring a private action against Facebook for privacy violations, they would, nevertheless, be confronted with a tremendous roadblock—the issue of standing. Without the ability to legally protect their data, Facebook users are left with little recourse. Accordingly, the United States Government and courts must heighten privacy protections of personalized information, such as biometric data, to prevent companies like Facebook from usurping highly sensitive personalized data of their users.
Facebook or Face Bank?,
32 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 187
Available at: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/elr/vol32/iss2/2