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Plaintiffs in Amazon voice biometric data privacy suit push back on dismissal motion

Series of BIPA settlements top $8M
Plaintiffs in Amazon voice biometric data privacy suit push back on dismissal motion

Plaintiffs attempting to sue Amazon over the alleged use of voice biometrics by its virtual assistant Alexa are pushing back on a motion to dismiss the case, Law360 writes, arguing that the tech giant is collecting “voiceprints” that can be used to identify individuals,

Amazon argues in its July 1 motion to dismiss that “voice recordings and transcripts are not ‘voiceprints,’” among other reasons for dismissal.

The response memorandum states that complaints under BIPA Section 15 (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) are all sufficient to send the suit to trial. They broadly argue that Amazon’s contentions, including that the plaintiffs did not allege they had opted-in to Speaker ID, are incorrect, and irrelevant even if they were true.

The case was sent to arbitration by the judge early last year, but Amazon removed the arbitration clause from its user terms, and the complaint returned to the judicial system.

Amazon had another Alexa-related biometric data privacy lawsuit split between Illinois State and federal courts earlier this year. The company has also faced legal action over alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

The string of lawsuits has prompted a shareholder complaint alleging executives were not forthcoming about legal challenges they were aware were likely.

Settlements adding up

BIPA settlements are adding up to many millions, even when the defendants are not among the world’s largest companies.

A complaint alleging Illinois’ 7-11 stores violated customer data privacy by collecting biometrics has been dropped, Law360 reports separately, after an apparent settlement.

No details on the settlement, but a notice of voluntary dismissal was filed by the plaintiff.

American Airlines unit Envoy Air has likewise settled without revealing the terms.

Ceridian is paying out $3.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit against it alleging biometric data privacy violations, Top Class Actions writes. The alleged violations were related to an employee time and attendance system.

A $4.5 million settlement between Bed, Bath & Beyond-owned online gift platform Personalizationmall.com and its employees has been approved by the presiding federal judge, meanwhile.

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