Biometric privacy lawsuit against Amazon and Pindrop refiled in federal court

Biometric privacy lawsuit against Amazon and Pindrop refiled in federal court

A biometric data privacy lawsuit alleging that Amazon and Pindrop failed to meet the informed consent requirements of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) of Illinois has been refiled, this time in federal court, Gizmodo reports.

The suit was dismissed from Illinois state court for lack of jurisdiction in September, when a judge ruled that the companies, which are not based in Illinois, also did not purposefully market their business to customers in Illinois, and therefore cannot be tried in the state. The judge also ruled that none of the events claimed in the suit is alleged to have happened in Illinois, subsequent to the plaintiffs themselves dialing the phone number for John Hancock.

The suit was dismissed without prejudice, however, as Biometric Update noted at the time, paving the way for its refiling in federal court.

The new suit is filed in the District Court of Delaware, the state where Pindrop and Amazon are incorporated.

The Massachusetts-based insurer uses Pindrop’s biometric call center services through Amazon Connect, according to the suit. The plaintiffs say they became aware that their voice biometric data had been processed when they were informed by John Hancock that they were no longer required to perform authentication by entering a PIN.

Pindrop CEO Vijay Balasubramanian told Biometric Update in an interview earlier this year that fraud tactics in the voice channel changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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