Another day, another suit against a brand name for allegations of violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Plaintiffs’ attorneys are having a field day filing class action lawsuits based on BIPA.
Late last week, Google was sued in Cook County, Illinois in a proposed class action, alleging that it violated BIPA by “collecting, storing and using Plaintiffs’ and other similarly situated individuals’…biometrics without informed written consent, in direct violation of BIPA.”
The suit alleges that Google is violating BIPA because it is “actively collecting, storing, and using—without providing notice, obtaining informed written consent or publishing data retention policies—the biometrics of millions of unwitting individuals whose faces appear in photographs uploaded to Google Photos in Illinois.”
The suit alleges that when an individual uses the cloud-based service Google Photos, “face templates” or “face prints” are activated, which use facial recognition software to identify individuals. It then groups individuals based upon the faces that appear in the photos, and also stores the group as a template in its database.
The allegations are very similar to the case against Vimeo which we reported on last week.
We will continue to see these cases filed and will watch them carefully and report on them as they wind through the court system. In the meantime, companies should be familiar with the requirements of BIPA as they develop and roll out products and services that collect or use biometric information.