A federal appeals court has given Facebook users the nod to sue the social media giant for violating their privacy rights by using facial recognition technology without their consent.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that Facebook users in Illinois could bring a class action suit against Facebook under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires organizations to obtain user permission to collect and store biometric information.

The court found that the plaintiffs’ privacy had been violated, warranting the suit. Writing the opinion in the Patel v. Facebook ruling, Judge Ikuta said the court “concludes that the development of a face template using facial-recognition technology without consent (as alleged here) invades an individual’s private affairs and concrete interests.”

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