Friday was a busy day in Illinois with arguments over the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. We previously reported that the first known biometric case has been given the green light to proceed. The case alleges that Shutterfly violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (insert previous post here) by using facial geometry from photographs that could identify individuals. Last Friday, the plaintiff moved to certify the class of thousands of Illinoisans who used Shutterfly.
The allegations in the suit include that Shutterfly stores and uses the facial geometry of individuals in photographs, including nonusers, that can be used to identify the individuals.
Shutterfly notes that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act applies to faces, not photographs. The Judge disagreed, and declared that he interpreted the law to include facial geometry. The plaintiff then moved for class certification.
In another courtroom in Illinois, Facebook argued that the court did not have jurisdiction over a suit against it by an Illinois man alleging that its photo-tagging feature “Tag Suggestions” violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The plaintiff, who does not use Facebook, alleges that someone else uploaded a picture of him and tagged him on Facebook, and Facebook used his facial features in the photo to determine his age, gender, race and location, violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Facebook argued that there is no evidence that Facebook deliberately targeted Illinois residents to market the product, which is offered and used worldwide, nor that the person who uploaded this particular picture of the plaintiff lives in Illinois or uploaded the photo in Illinois. Facebook previously pointed out that information derived from photos is specifically excluded by the law.
We will watch these cases closely and keep you up to date on developments.