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Clearview biometric data privacy lawsuit plaintiffs file for preliminary injunction to force compliance

Allege opt-in necessary to opt out


Plaintiffs in the consolidated class action alleging biometric data privacy violations by Clearview AI have moved for a preliminary injunction to force its compliance with the requirements of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

That would mean forcing Clearview to stop processing and delete all biometric data collected from the class, distributing Illinois residents’ biometric data or collecting further data, as well as to publish a data retention schedule and guidelines on its website. The motion claims that Clearview’s claims to have “self-reformed” its practices are not reliable, citing purported contradictions between its assertions to serve only law-enforcement customers and a recent patent filing related to a commercial application, and an opt-out system they say is entirely inappropriate.

Clearview’s opt-put policy, according to the defendants, “actually forces Illinois residents to consent to Defendants’ collection of their Biometric Data,” according to a memorandum filed in support of the motion.

Plaintiffs have asked the court for injunctive relief, and to appoint a ‘Special Master’ to implement that relief and verify Clearview’s compliance with the order.

In a written statement provided to Law360, Clearview counsel Lee Wolosky of Jenner & Block LLP said that among the motion’s flaws, Clearview is exempt from BIPA because the law does not apply to law enforcement and government applications, and its conduct is Constitutionally-protected free speech.

Plaintiffs argue that Clearview’s law enforcement focus is “illusory,” as the service has been provided to individual police officers without the knowledge or oversight of their departments, and absent oversight there is no way to confirm how they are using it.

The opt-out system provided by Clearview ironically entails individuals opting to enroll their biometrics with the company so that they can be essentially blacklisted within its image-scraping process, according to the plaintiffs. “It is exactly backwards that a person who never wanted to interact with Defendants is required to provide Clearview with personal information and consent to the harvesting of his/her Biometric Data in order to ‘opt out,'” the memorandum states.

The case is on track to be remanded to state court after an appeals court rejected Clearview’s attempt to keep it in federal court in March.

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