FB pixel

Lawsuit filed against Snapchat for using biometric data without consent


Two men filed a class-action lawsuit against Snapchat under a 2008 Illinois state law that requires a company to obtain written consent before using an individual’s biometric data, according to a report by Inc.

Initially filed by plaintiffs Jose Luis Martinez and Malcolm Neal in Los Angeles County court in May, the case has recently been moved to U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

According to the lawsuit, Snapchat has been unlawfully gathering, storing, and using biometric data, including face geometry and iris scans of its users without asking for permission, which directly violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

“Contrary to the claims of this frivolous lawsuit, we are very careful not to collect, store, or obtain any biometric information or identifiers about our community,” a Snapchat spokesperson wrote in an email.

The lawsuit states that the social media giant collects biometric data when users take selfies with the Lenses feature, which allows users to add various animated features to their photos.

Snapchat explains on its website how its Lenses feature uses object recognition, which “is an algorithm designed to understand the general nature of things that appear in an image”.

However, the company emphasizes that “object recognition isn’t the same as facial recognition… [because] Lenses can recognize faces in general [but] can’t recognize a specific face.”

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act was passed in 2008 in order to regulate the manner in which companies collect and use biometric information.

The plaintiffs are seeking a total of over $5 million in damages, which breaks down to $5,000 for each intentional violation of BIPA, or $1,000 if the court finds that Snapchat was negligent, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Facebook was slapped with a class-action privacy lawsuit regarding its facial recognition technology under the same Illinois law. A federal judge recently rejected Facebook’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


UK school reprimanded by ICO for using facial recognition without DPIA

A school in Chelmsford, Essex, has been reprimanded by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the unlawful implementation of facial…


Tech5 introduces flexible biometric template protection for its ABIS

Tech5 has developed biometric template protection technology that it says meets the criteria set out in the ISO/IEC 30136 standard….


Maza streamlines KYC with Regula biometric and document verification

Regula has integrated its document and biometric verification system into Maza Financial, a fintech company based in the United States,…


More ballparks to get biometric entry through MLB’s Go-Ahead Entry

Major League Baseball continues to grow its facial recognition entry program with biometrics from NEC. An article in Sports Business…


Inrupt enters growing digital wallet market with pitch from WWW inventor

Inrupt has launched a digital wallet, which comes with a notable endorsement from an internet pioneer. A press release says…


OIX calls on new UK government to accelerate digital ID rollout

The UK should work toward a digital wallet strategy, provide clarity on how ID will work across the public and…


9 Replies to “Lawsuit filed against Snapchat for using biometric data without consent”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events