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Shutterfly settles facial recognition lawsuit


According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, a lawsuit brought by an Illinois man who accused Shutterfly of violating his privacy by using facial recognition software to identify his face has been settled.

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Illinois allowed the lawsuit against Shutterfly to proceed despite the company’s claims that its tagging software does not break the state’s privacy law, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Shutterfly had argued that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) does not pertain to “photographs and any information gleaned from photographs” as they “cannot be biometric identifiers”. But that wasn’t enough to get the lawsuit dismissed at the time.

Illinois resident Brian Norberg alleged that his face ended up in Shutterfly’s database after a friend uploaded and tagged a photo of him in February 2015. Shutterfly measured the contours of his face and the distance between his eyes, nose and ears to create a template it used to suggest other photos of Norberg be tagged with his name, the suit said, alleging that Shutterfly had violated Norberg’s rights under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

After reaching an undisclosed settlement, both parties moved Tuesday to dismiss the case, which had yet to be certified as a class.

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