Google, Microsoft, Amazon sued for violating BIPA by using user’s images without consent

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Two Illinois residents sue Google, Microsoft, and Amazon for using their photos without consent under BIPA

Two Illinois residents have sued the tech biggies Microsoft, Google, and Amazon for violating the Biometric Information Privacy Act or BIPA. The two claim that their faces were used for training facial recognition systems without their consent. The duo want the lawsuit to be converted into a class-action so that others who have similarly been violated under BIPA can get compensation from the three big tech companies.

The duo, Steven Vance and Tim Janecyk say their faces and photos were included in the IBM “Diversity in Faces” database, which was then used by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for their own applications. The lawsuit states that the three companies violated the biometric protection granted to them under BIPA. The plaintiffs are now seeking at least $5,000 per violation of the law.

BIPA is an Illinois law that passed more than ten years ago specifically to protect state residents against the unauthorized use of their biometric data. “Defendant Microsoft never advised or informed Plaintiff Vance or his legally authorized representative in writing: (a) that it collected, stored and used Plaintiff Vance’s biometric identifiers and information; or (b) of the specific purpose and length of term for which Plaintiff Vance’s biometric identifiers and information were being collected, stored and used,” the lawsuit against Microsoft reads.

“Defendant Microsoft violated BIPA by collecting and obtaining individuals’ biometric identifiers and information, including the biometric identifiers and information of Plaintiffs and Class Members, without providing the requisite written information and without obtaining the requisite written releases.”

Microsoft reacted to the lawsuit saying that it’s looking into the claims and it’s “taking privacy seriously.”

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"The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." Eric Schmidt

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