Acuant beats some biometric privacy lawsuit claims, others remanded to state level
Some of the claims against Acuant in a Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) suit have been thrown out by a federal judge in Illinois on grounds that they lack standing. Other claims in the suit were remanded to state court, where the question of standing may be treated differently.
The company was named in a lawsuit alleging the storage of facial biometric templates and other biometric data without meeting the informed consent requirements, according to Reuters. District Judge Charles Kocoras ruled that plaintiff Shanice Kloss does not have standing in federal court to pursue claims alleging Acuant lacks a publicly available data retention policy, based on the precedent set by 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Bryant v. Compass Group. In that case, the appellate court ruled that the invasion of privacy rights from failures to disclose policies and obtain consent are sufficient to establish standing in federal court.
Though details are not included in the report, that would seem to suggest that those claims in which federal standing applies have been dismissed, while those without federal standing will be decided by state courts.
A recent decision that a vendor of biometric time and attendance systems is not liable for claims arising from the actions of a customer ruled that for state courts to have jurisdiction over a third-party technology provider in cases alleging procedural violations of BIPA, the third-party must have a physical presence in Illinois (which Acuant does not), or market its offerings specifically to Illinois customers.
It was reported earlier this year that vendors offering biometrics are increasingly being targeted by BIPA plaintiffs, though the liability of vendors remains uncertain after rulings that have indicated liability at least in some situations, and limits in others.
Acuant’s facial biometrics were recently implemented by Evident ID to support the safe reopening of large-scale workplaces.