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U.S. judge dismisses suit vs. Google over facial recognition software

Google signage is seen at the Google headquarters in the borough of Manhattan of New York City, New York, united states, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – A lawsuit filed against Google by consumers who claimed the search engine’s photo sharing and storage service have their privacy violated, was dismissed on Saturday by a U.S. judge who called a lack of “concrete injuries.”

U. S. District Judge Edmond Chang in Chicago granted Google’s motion for a summary judgment saying the court lacked “subject matter jurisdiction, because the plaintiffs have not suffered a concrete injury.”

The suit, filed in March 2016, alleged Alphabet Inc Google violated Illinois state law by collecting and storing biometric data of photos with facial recognition software without their permission via the Google Photos service.

Plaintiffs had sought more than $5 million together for the “hundreds of thousands” of state residents, according to the court documents. Prosecutors had asked the court for $5,000 for each intentional violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, or $1000 for each negligent violation, court documents said.

Lawyers of the plaintiffs, as well as officials with Google could not immediately be reached for comment. Google argued in court documents that the plaintiffs are not entitled to money or a preliminary injunction because they suffered no harm.

The case is Rivera v Google, the U. S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 16-02714.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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