Michael L. Feinstein, P.A.

Facebook chooses to settle class action litigation

Facing lawsuits is something that most businesses have to deal with at some point. The more successful a business and the more people it reaches, the more likely it could be to face serious legal claims. In some cases, class action litigation can arise, and a company may need to determine what steps could best help it handle the situation, even if that means coming to a settlement.

Florida readers may be interested in an out-of-state case involving Facebook that recently came to a settlement. According to reports, the lawsuit related to alleged violations of the state's consumer privacy laws and was filed in 2015. Plaintiffs claimed that Facebook used facial-recognition data from its users without properly obtaining consent or providing a disclosure for that data collection.

In 2016, Facebook indicated that the actions did not violate the state's biometric information law because the information collected was not biometric data. The company also argued that the state's law did not apply since the company operated out of another state. However, the judge presiding over the case rejected these arguments. The recent settlement will have Facebook paying approximately $550 million to the members of the lawsuit's class.

Though a settlement may seem like a loss to some, it can be in the best interests of a company to take this route under certain circumstances. This case had gone on for approximately five years, and settling would have fewer negative impacts on the company than continuing with the lawsuit. If Florida businesses are facing class action litigation, they may want to thoroughly review all of their available options to determine which may be best for their circumstances.

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