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Facebook will pay $650 million to settle class action suit centered on Illinois privacy law

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Facebook was ordered to pay $650 million Friday for running afoul of an Illinois law designed to protect the state’s residents from invasive privacy practices.

That law, the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), is a powerful state measure that’s tripped up tech companies in recent years. The suit against Facebook was first filed in 2015, alleging that Facebook’s practice of tagging people in photos using facial recognition without their consent violated state law.

Indeed, 1.6 million Illinois residents will receive at least $345 under the final settlement ruling in California federal court. The final number is $100 million higher than the $550 million Facebook proposed in 2020, which a judge deemed inadequate. Facebook disabled the automatic facial recognition tagging features in 2019, making it opt-in instead and addressing some of the privacy criticisms echoed by the Illinois class action suit.

A cluster of lawsuits accused Microsoft, Google and Amazon of breaking the same law last year after Illinois residents’ faces were used to train their facial recognition systems without explicit consent.

The Illinois privacy law has tangled up some of tech’s giants, but BIPA has even more potential to impact smaller companies with questionable privacy practices. The controversial facial recognition software company Clearview AI now faces its own BIPA-based class action lawsuit in the state after the company failed to dodge the suit by pushing it out of state courts.

A $650 million settlement would be enough to crush any normal company, though Facebook can brush it off much like it did with the FTC’s record-setting $5 billion penalty in 2019. But the Illinois law isn’t without teeth. For Clearview, it was enough to make the company pull out of business in the state altogether.

The law can’t punish a behemoth like Facebook in the same way, but it is one piece in a regulatory puzzle that poses an increasing threat to the way tech’s data brokers have done business for years. With regulators at the federal, state and legislative level proposing aggressive measures to rein in tech, the landmark Illinois law provides a compelling framework that other states could copy and paste. And if big tech thinks navigating federal oversight will be a nightmare, a patchwork of aggressive state laws governing how tech companies do business on a state-by-state basis is an alternate regulatory future that could prove even less palatable.

TechCrunch

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This Facebook Page Shares 116 Memes That Might Teach You Something (New Pics)

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This Facebook Page Shares 116 Memes That Might Teach You Something (New Pics)

What was your experience like in school? Were you straight-A student, or were you more focused on upholding your reputation as class clown than finishing your homework on time? Regardless of how much you remember from the good (or bad) old days in the classroom, it’s likely that there weren’t many memes involved in the curriculum. If there were, I’m jealous! And if there weren’t, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with your daily dose of educational memes down below!

We’ve gathered some of the best posts from Educational Memes on Instagram to remind you all that learning and laughing don’t have to be mutually exclusive. So, pandas, enjoy these pics that might take you back to the days of packed lunches, recess and raising your hand when you had a question, and   be sure to upvote the ones that make you feel particularly intelligent.

Keep reading to also find a conversation with the creator of this hilarious account, Yashdeep Kanhai, and then if you’re interested in finding even more memes dedicated to living, laughing and learning, you can find Bored Panda’s previous article featuring Educational Memes right here!

More info: Instagram | Facebook


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Soros-Funded Fake News Operation Pushes Facebook to Reinstate Trump Ban

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Soros-Funded Fake News Operation Pushes Facebook to Reinstate Trump Ban

Courier Newsroom also has ties to progressive megadonor Laurene Powell Jobs

George Soros / Getty Images

A progressive billionaire-funded network of Democratic propaganda sites masquerading as legitimate news websites is leading the push to keep former president Donald Trump off Facebook and Twitter.

Courier Newsroom, which bills itself as the “largest left-leaning news network in the country,” organized a petition this week to pressure Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Elon Musk to keep Trump off their platforms. Facebook said Thursday it would reinstate Trump “in the coming weeks.” Twitter reinstated Trump in November, but the former president has not posted on the site. Both sites banned him in January 2021, under pressure from Democratic lawmakers and liberal advocacy groups.

“We cannot allow him to rejoin these platforms and spread more hateful, inaccurate information. Sign the petition now to keep Trump off of Facebook and Twitter,” Courier’s petition says. Blue Amp Action, a Democratic consulting firm, circulated the petition in an email to Courier supporters. The consulting firm has worked for a number of Democratic campaigns. President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign paid Blue Amp Action around $230,000 for media production services in 2020.

Maintaining a ban on Trump could help Democrats in 2024 by depriving the early GOP favorite of access to two of the country’s biggest media platforms. And that aligns with the political goals of Courier Newsroom’s biggest backers.

Laurene Powell Jobs, who inherited $20 billion from her late husband, Apple founder Steve Jobs, was a major funder of ACRONYM, the digital media company behind Courier Newsroom, the Washington Free Beacon reported. While the exact nature of Powell Jobs’s ties to ACRONYM and Courier Newsroom are unclear, she is not the only progressive megadonor propping up the group.

In October 2021, the progressive billionaire George Soros and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman formed an organization called Good Information, Inc. The group acquired Courier Newsroom, which operates websites designed to look like legitimate local news publications. Soros, the Democratic party’s biggest donor, gave $1.2 million to Courier Newsroom through his Open Society Foundations in 2021 to support the group’s “non-partisan journalism.”

While Courier Newsroom aims to root out political disinformation online, Hoffman has funded multiple projects that used disinformation to help elect Democrats. In 2017, he funded a project in which tech firms created fake social media personas in order to suppress Republican voter turnout in Alabama’s 2017 special Senate election.

Other Soros-funded advocacy groups have pressured Facebook to maintain its ban on Trump.

Media Matters for America, which received $500,000 in Soros cash in 2021, partnered with Accountable Tech to form the “Keep Trump Off Facebook” campaign. MoveOn.org, one of the largest progressive groups in the country, has purchased ads on Facebook to circulate a petition to keep Trump off the platform. Soros donated $450,000 to MoveOn in 2021.

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Wanda Sykes On Why Meta Reinstated Trump

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Wanda Sykes On Why Meta Reinstated Trump

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta announced this week that twice-impeached former president Donald Trump will be reinstated on both platforms, after a two-year suspension.

“The Daily Show” guest host Wanda Sykes was not at all surprised, saying that it’s just a money-grabbing stunt.

In their announcement on Wednesday, Meta stated that “the public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.” And to that, Wanda Sykes said “Phooey!”

“Look, we all know Facebook is losing a ton of money and they want that Trump attention back,” Sykes mocked. “They need a hit! Trump is their ‘White Lotus.’”

She added that Trump is “the Jennifer Coolidge of the internet,” breaking out her own impression of the award-winning actress. That said, Sykes does think there needs to be some intense moderation of Trump’s accounts. But she had an idea for that, too.

“I think maybe for the first week, they should just allow him to only post cat photos. You know, let’s see how it goes,” Sykes joked. “If you see a bunch of cats storming the Capitol? Although adorable, shut it down.”

You can watch the full segment from “The Daily Show” in the video above.

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