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Amazon and Microsoft move for dismissal of biometric privacy suit, arguing no jurisdiction for training data



Illinois’ biometric privacy law does not apply to conduct out of state and therefore suits against Amazon and Microsoft over the use of the “Diversity in Faces” facial recognition dataset should be dismissed, the companies have said in court filings reported by Bloomberg Law.

The companies allegedly used IBM’s “Diversity in Faces,” which perhaps ironically was built to help address one of the main criticisms of face biometrics; disparities in performance between different demographics or “bias,” as IBM Fellow and Manager of AI Tech Dr. John Smith told Biometric Update in an interview at the time.

Amazon and Microsoft each say the use of the dataset on out-of-state systems to train algorithms does not trigger the informed consent requirements of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) of Illinois. The nearly identical filings note that it was IBM that included the images in the training dataset, and that the suits do not show they have profited from the biometric data. The two tech giants filed their motions to dismiss the claims under BIPA with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Two people have brought potential class actions against the companies, alleging they are included in the dataset, and have also brought cases against IBM in an Illinois court. Google is facing a similar lawsuit to the ones against Amazon and Microsoft.

The suits were filed in July, shortly after Microsoft, IBM and Amazon all committed to limiting or eliminating their sales of facial recognition in the U.S.

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