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Mitek’s second shot at avoiding BIPA class action rejected

Mitek’s second shot at avoiding BIPA class action rejected
 

Enterprise ID verifier Mitek is running out of exits before it approaches the Biometric Information Protection Act toll plaza.

A United States appeals court this week unanimously told Mitek it could not avoid being sued under the state of Illinois’ BIPA statutes by hiding behind an arbitration agreement.

Mitek provides facial recognition service for car renter HyreCar. It is accused of violating BIPA by not getting the express consent of state residents to capture biometric identifiers like face photos.

Named plaintiff Joshua Johnson claims to have uploaded a photo of his driver’s license and a selfie to be verified for HyreCar, the Cook County Record reports. From this initial check, a biometric template was stored for future identity verification, according to the complaint.

The chance that it could lose a class-action BIPA lawsuit and have to pay a significant amount of money prompted the company’s attorney to claim HyreCar’s mandatory arbitration contract clause covers Mitek, too.

A U.S. District Court judge had tossed that idea out and, now, so has a three-judge panel in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The problem with the defense is that the contract, part of which requires customers to settle disputes with the company through arbitration, is only between HyreCar and the renter.

HyreCar is not named in the proposed class action.

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