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US Judge rejects Facebook’s plea over face-tagging photos

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ILLIONOIS — A US judge has rejected a solicitation by Facebook to toss out a civil suit accusing it of violating privacy with face-recognition software to help ‘tag’ people in pictures.

A lawsuit filed by three Illinois residents under the auspices of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) can proceed, US District Court Judge James Donato said.

“The court accepts as true plaintiffs’ allegations that Facebook’s face-recognition technology involves a scan of face geometry that was done without plaintiffs’ consent,” he said in the ruling.

The suit accuses Facebook of unlawfully collecting and storing biometric data taken from faces in pictures ‘secretly and without consent’ for a feature that lets people “tag” friends by name at the social network.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs contend that Facebook is violating Illinois law because biometric identifiers in the form of facial geometry are gathered, stored and then used for tagging suggestions at the California-based social network without permission.

It appeared that legislators in Illinois passed BIPA to address emerging biometric technology, such as Facebook face-recognition software, at issue in the case, according to the judge.

Facebook had argued in a motion to dismiss that analysing uploaded photographs did not qualify as biometric data and that the Illinois law did not apply.

The leading social network had modified its terms of service to state that California law applies, but timing and circumstances permit the application of the Illinois act in the suit, the 24-page ruling said.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, comes as internet titans such as Facebook, Google, and others are investing heavily in artificial intelligence to better recognise, understand and cater to users of online offerings.

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AFP

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Pakistan approves Mandarin as official language

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ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani Senate has approved a motion to declare Mandarin as one of the official languages of Pakistan on Monday.

Stating that the step was necessary in view of ties between Pakistan and China, the motion said the relationaship would further deepen between the two countries and help the people connected with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor communicate easily, AbbTakk News reported.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani tweeted: “In a short span of 70 years, Pakistan has flirted with promoting four languages that were not the mother tongue of many people in the country – English, Urdu, Arabic, and now Chinese — ignoring native languages”

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Punjabi, which is widely spoken in Punjab province of Pakistan, Pashto and many other native languages have not been declared official languages of the country.

According to Dawn News, Pakistanis are more interested in learning the Chinese language than ever as they see the tides changing and expect that knowing Mandarin would mean more job opportunities in Pakistan and China.

With ANI Inputs

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