"Instead, Facebook merely hints at the underlying functionality behind Tag Suggestions -- only describing the feature's use of facial recognition software on remote sections of its website. With millions of its users in the dark about the true nature of this technology."
Licata's case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for Northern California, where Facebook is headquartered. In October, Facebook also requested that the case be dismissed. There has been no ruling on the motion to date.
Facebook based its motion for dismissal based on the terms of service and the fact that California, where it is located, doesn't have a biometric protection statute like BIPA in Illinois.
The only other state that has a law similar to BIPA is Texas, but its law states that lawsuits must be brought by the state and not individuals. There has been federal legislation calling for privacy rules around biometric information, but to date, none have passed.
BIPA, passed in 2008, states that no private entity may collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person's or a customer's biometric identifier or biometric information, unless it first informs the subject and gets their permission.
In Licata's case, he uploaded the photos in question. In the Shutterfly case, Norberg claims he never used the photo-sharing website and that other people uploaded the images of him.
"Currently, Illinois is the only state to allow private citizens to sue," David Milian, lead partner in the case at Carey Rodriguez, said in a statement. "The data privacy concerns are enormous. You can always change your password or get a new credit card or Social Security number if these websites are hacked, but you can't change your facial geometry."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.