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Six Flags and Snapchat parent head off court decisions in biometric privacy suits

Opt for $36M settlement, arbitration respectively
Six Flags and Snapchat parent head off court decisions in biometric privacy suits

A settlement has been reached in the biometric data privacy lawsuit against Six Flags for $36 million, the Cook County Record reports,

Payouts for plaintiffs could total up to $200 for those with their fingerprints scanned before 2016, and $60 for those scanned from 2016 to 2018, according to the Record, which according to settlement documents would be paid out in installments over a five-year period. Plaintiffs’ representatives will ask the court to allow them to claim one-third of the total, $12 million, in fees. The theme park began providing disclosure of its fingerprinting practices in 2016.

The case forced an interpretation of standing under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in the State’s Supreme Court, which opened the floodgates for suits in which the biometric data in question was never breached, illegally shared or sold, and absent personal injury as defined by previous statutes in state and federal law.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, the case was sent back to Lake County, where the settlement has been filed.

Snapchat sent to arbitration

A biometric data privacy lawsuit against Snapchat parent Snap has been sent to arbitration by a judge with the Southern District of Illinois, Law Street writes.

A 2019 complaint against the social media network alleges the use of face biometrics on a 13-year old plaintiff, whose motion in opposition to the arbitration request argued the delegation provision included in the arbitration agreement of the app’s terms of service was insufficient. The court sided with Snap, ruling that the American Arbitration Association’s Consumer Arbitration Rules are invoked in the terms as governing any arbitration attempts.

The plaintiff then argues that the terms were generally unenforceable, and the court referred to its previous finding, which puts the decision with the arbitrator.

Amazon recently decided to stop pushing for its BIPA case to be arbitrated, and will instead opt for an all-or-nothing court victory, assuming it does not change course and settle in the meantime, like Six Flags.

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