Google has agreed to pay $100 million to Illinois citizens to resolve a class-action lawsuit over the Google Photos app's face recognition function. Privacy of Vital Records in Illinois (BIPA).
The BIPA, which went into effect in 2008, prevents businesses from collecting and keeping biometric data, such as “retina, iris, fingerprint, voice, or face scans,” without first alerting individuals in writing why they are doing so.
In addition to how long you plan to keep them, the complaint claims that Google is “directly in violation” of the law because the Face Collection feature allegedly collects and analyzes a person's facial structure “without providing notice, obtaining prior consent, or publishing data retention policies.”
As a consequence of the class action, Google has agreed to pay $100 million and to provide users with notice about the face-sorting tool. Anyone who lived in Illinois and featured in a photo or video on Google Images between May 1, 2015 and April 25, 2022 may make a claim on the state's website, and each person would get a sum of money ranging from $200 to $400, plus a hearing. The settlement will be approved in its entirety on September 28.
In another class-action case in Illinois last year, Facebook was ordered to pay $650 million. According to the lawsuit, the platform's now-defunct Tag Suggestions function, which evaluated users' faces in photographs and suggested tags, violates state biometric privacy regulations.
A similar class action complaint has been filed in Illinois, alleging that Snapchat “illegally” gathers users' voiceprints and facial geometry data through its different lenses and filters.