Facebook facing a lawsuit over illegally harvesting biometrics in Instagram

Facebook has apparently found yet another way to harvest data, but this time it’s related to biometrics, and it has wrangled Instagram into the mess as well.

Bloomberg has the report (via MacRumors). Facebook is facing an accusation of using Instagram to illegally harvest biometric data of users. The case was filed in California earlier this week, and says that Facebook used Instagram to harvest the biometric data of over 100 million users.

The collection of this data was reportedly mishandled right out of the gate, with the case alleging that Facebook did not give Instagram users the ability to opt in to this sort of data collection, and it did not give users any warning that the harvesting was going on. It’s worth noting that Instagram did make users aware that biometric data harvesting did take place earlier this year. However, the report says that the actual data harvesting happened at some point before that.

This is not the first time that Facebook has run aground of this particular issue. It was just last month that the social network agreed to a settlement of around $650 million in a case where it was accused of using Facebook’s photo-tagging feature to harvest biometric user data. At the time of this publication that settlement has not been agreed upon, but, if it is, Facebook users impacted by the data harvesting could see a payout of around $400.

And yet, this latest case would see Facebook shelling out even more. The original lawsuit notes that if Facebook is found guilty of illegally harvesting biometric user data, that would be a violation of Illinois’ privacy law, and Facebook could be forced to pay upwards of $5,000 per violation.

Not a great look for the social network, and yet, is anyone really surprised by this?