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Facebook Faulted By Judge For 'Troubling Theme' In Privacy Case (bloomberg.com) 62

schwit1 quotes a report from Bloomberg: A judge scolded Facebook for misconstruing his own rulings as he ordered the company to face a high-stakes trial accusing it of violating user privacy. The social media giant has misinterpreted prior court orders by continuing to assert the "faulty proposition" that users can't win their lawsuit under an Illinois biometric privacy law without proving an "actual injury," U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a ruling Monday. Likewise, the company's argument that it's immune from having to pay a minimum of $1,000, and as much as $5,000, for each violation of the law is "not a sound proposition," he said. Under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, the damages in play at a jury trial set for July 9 in San Francisco could easily reach into the billions of dollars for the millions of users whose photos were allegedly scanned without consent. Apart from his concerns about the "troubling theme" in Facebook's legal arguments, Donato ruled a trial must go forward because there are multiple factual issues in dispute, including a sharp disagreement over how the company's photo-tagging software processes human faces.

Facebook Faulted By Judge For 'Troubling Theme' In Privacy Case

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    we can all use an extra $3 in our pockets.

    (the lawyers would get the rest, of course.. but hey, so long as it's enough to sting mark where it counts, that's all that really matters).

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:29AM (#56613712)

    Did Facebook essentially say "we don't want this law to apply to us, so fuck off"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Sounds like what FB said was "We think the judge is wrong."

      Which, much as the judge may dislike it, is NOT illegal.

      No opinions as to whether FB is correct about the law, or not. I haven't read the law, and am not lawyer enough to know whether the law says what this group of lawyers (FB's) says is correct, or whether the other group of lawyers (plaintiffs'?) is correct, since legalese is a highly specialized version of the language, where words may or may not mean the same thing as they do to the rest of

      • Powerful people (and corporations) do not retain elite legal representation solely to interpret the law for them.

        They retain the best attorneys to advise them how best to accomplish their goals despite the laws.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seems like they no longer consider themselves bound by state law.

      Facebook’s arguments that the case should be thrown out because it would require the company to change its practices for users outside of Illinois.

      I assume they eventually plan to grow beyond the reach of even federal law.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      Did Facebook essentially say "we don't want this law to apply to us, so fuck off"?

      It's the Uber defense

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The plaintiffs may or may not "have a point" but let's also be real, this is not a bunch of white knights looking out for the privacy of downtrodden Americans, this is a bunch of lawyers who saw a way to make themselves a boatload of money just like the lawyers found filing ADA violation lawsuits against businesses en masse when there has been no actual complaint by an actually disabled person.

  • Only about FB users? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Teun ( 17872 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @08:51AM (#56614148) Homepage
    We non-FB addicts are also scanned when some dupe posts a tagged picture of the innocent.
    Which in my view is much more serious, the poster should also be charged.
  • So, how is FB being sued in a court in San Francisco for violating an Illinois law? Yeah, I get that it's a class action, and bumped up to federal court, but still. I'd expect this to play out in Illinois state courts, with Illinois plaintiffs, and FB having to get some Illinois representation, at least for the trial portion. Once it gets to appeals, sure, then it gets to the Federal level.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Interstate cases have to be in federal courts, and I would guess that Facebook is incorporated in California. That would make the San Francisco court the appropriate federal court. (If Illinois were defending, it would be a different court, of course.)

      The thing I don't get is the FB attorneys blowing off the judge. All I can figure is they're trying to get him to say something that will require him to recuse himself from the case. (Of course, it could be paraphrases by the reporters...)

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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