In what is being described as the first case in the U.S. regarding a state biometric privacy statute, a proposed class was successful in thwarting a motion to dismiss by Shutterfly last week over its alleged practice of collecting and storing face geometry from photos without individuals’ authorization. The plaintiff alleges that Shutterfly is using his face pattern to identify him in photographs posted on various websites, and that such violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
The Judge found that the plaintiff had “plausibly stated a claim under” the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Three states to date have biometric information privacy statutes—Illinois, New Hampshire and Texas. As we have seen with other privacy issues, no doubt additional states will implement similar statutes in the future.
Facebook is facing a similar proposed class action case in federal court in Chicago over its use of biometric identification technology. We will be watching that case closely, as well as any other developments in this area.