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Similar arguments to have biometric data privacy suits thrown out made by Amazon, Microsoft

Similar arguments to have biometric data privacy suits thrown out made by Amazon, Microsoft

Amazon did not use the biometric data of Illinois residents contained in the Diversity in Faces dataset, or benefit from the data, the company argues in a motion requesting a summary judgement in Federal Court.

The motion, spotted by Law360, also argues that Amazon had no knowledge of the data of Illinois residents protected by the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) within the dataset.

Finally, the dataset was only downloaded by the company in Washington and Georgia, as three of the company’s research scientists evaluated it, according to the motion. This, Amazon’s representation argues, puts its actions outside the scope of BIPA, due to the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Plaintiff Tim Janecyk even invited viewers of his Flickr account, from which the images were taken, to “PLEASE STEAL MY PHOTOS!” and himself did not know the state of residence of people in his photos, the motion states.

A notably similar motion has been filed by Microsoft and reported by Law Street Media, likewise arguing for summary judgement.

In the Microsoft case, the plaintiff was recently granted additional time for discovery, and halted its motion for class certification, which could be revisited.

Microsoft’s argument is that it did not use the dataset within Illinois, had no knowledge of state residents’ data within it, and any alleged violations did not occur “‘primarily and substantially’ in Illinois,” invoking the dormant commerce clause.

Microsoft further contends that it would have been impossible for it to notify or obtain consent from people whose data is in the biometric dataset prior to downloading it, which the company argues nullifies the claim under BIPA Section 15(b).

A hearing regarding the summary judgement will be held on June 10.

IBM’s Diversity in Faces dataset was intended to reduce demographic differentials or bias in biometric systems, as IBM Fellow and Manager of AI Tech Dr. John Smith told Biometric Update at the time, but has arguable done more to advance the incomes of data privacy attorneys.

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