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Google Sued Under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

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.”

Google Photos is a cloud-based service, and the suit alleges that when a user uses the services, “face templates” or “face prints” using facial recognition softwarerecognize individuals and then groups them together based upon the individuals who appear in the photos and stores a template of the individual in its database.

The allegations are very similar to the case against Vimeo which we reported on last week.

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.


Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 276


About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...