Article and image: https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/18/facebook-35-billion-lawsuit/
Facebook has been a company that everyone is talking about for the past two years. Each report comes out with an action against the company and how much control and data they have mined and sold from their users. This week’s report follows a lawsuit against Facebook for $35 billion in a class action lawsuit that addressed misuse of facial recognition. Josh Constine of Tech Crunch reported on this lawsuit as it is one of the largest FTC class action lawsuits, “breaking the previous largest lawsuit at $5 billion” (Constine, 2019). Facebook makes about $55 billion a year in revenue, so this lawsuit put a dent in their earnings and forced the company’s stock to drop 2.25%. The lawsuit focused on Facebook suggesting people to tag in photos. For instance, if I uploaded a new profile picture with myself and a friend and didn’t tag my friend, Facebook would suggest if I wanted to tag the person and addressed them by their profile name. Meaning, the company can recognize user’s faces and use them for things beyond tagging on social media. Facebook claimed that they were very transparent with their use of this technology, but this lawsuit proves otherwise.
I chose this article this week because this is a major lawsuit that actually asked for a large amount of money from this major website. I have been curious about Facebook because they are trying desperately to make sure they are still relevant, throwing new services out and hoping that one of them catches on. These services being streaming with Netflix, a new dating app, and even a cryptocurrency. The public is finally understanding that huge sites like Google and Facebook are collecting a lot of data on people and aren’t using the data for app improvements or to let users know about themselves. No, they are collecting data, creating in-depth profiles and selling that data to advertisers and third parties for revenue. These profiles would probably tell you more about you than you even know. They predict shopping trends and political trends. The profiles even know where you were three years ago on your trip to Europe down to the time you spent at a café and how much you traveled. Facebook started face mapping in 2011, so this has been eight years of facial recognition that has been saved since 2011. Learning that Facebook is being held accountable for their data misuse makes me feel better about the future since people are getting outraged at how much data websites and apps keep on us without our knowledge and with little transparency.