Facebook and Facebook's Messenger Kids app icons are displayed on an iPhone in New York, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family. It displays no ads and lets parents approve who their children message. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
INTERNATIONAL - Facebook has failed again to get out of a lawsuit alleging its photo scanning technology flouts users’ privacy rights. 

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled on Monday that the world’s largest social network must face claims that it violated the privacy of millions of users by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent. 

Alphabet’s Google is fighting similar claims in federal court in Chicago. US District Judge James Donato’s decision to let the class-action case proceed means that Facebook is still potentially on the hook for fines under a unique Illinois law of $1000 (R11557) to $5000 each time a person’s image is used without permission. 

A court victory for consumers could lead to new restrictions on Facebook’s use of biometrics in the US, similar to those in Europe and Canada.