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Biometric data privacy cases expand beyond BIPA with new filing in Oregon

Biometric data privacy cases expand beyond BIPA with new filing in Oregon
 

If it is a day ending in “y”, chances are that there is biometric privacy courtroom news to report.

Today brings news of two recently filed cases and a settlement, but not all of the cases are out of the U.S. state of Illinois, the filing capital of biometric privacy lawsuits.

A regional convenience chain, Jacksons Food Stores is being sued in Portland, Oregon, for violating a 2020 municipal code banning the use of facial recognition identification algorithms in “places of public accommodation by any private entity.”

A pair of plaintiffs say the chain continued to use the system after the law was enacted January 1, 2021. Jacksons operates about 33 stores in Portland, according to trade publication C-Store Dive. Jacksons has used Blue Line Technology’s First Line software.

Putative class action number 22CV40791 is being heard in Portland, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The class action seeks a cease-and-desist judgment and compensatory or statutory damages of $1,000 for each day the company is found to be in violation of the law but no less than $10 million.

Jacksons, which is based in Idaho, has been a focal point in the local debate about facial recognition.

The successful campaign to largely ban surveillance and identification often turned to Jacksons’ signs telling people who intend to enter one of the stores to look at a camera so that their face can be compared to a persona non grata database. The door does not open for anyone matched by the software with a photo on the database.

Amazon is reported to have contributed money to the effort to oppose the facial recognition ban.

The second new proposed class action (case 2022CH11985) is, in fact, being heard in Illinois, home of the Biometric Information Protection Act. Chicago-based SP Plus, a public garage operator, is accused of recording the faces of drivers at entry kiosks.

Among other mandates, BIPA requires companies to get express consent before scanning a person’s face and informing the person about how the data will be managed. The systems cannot enable a company to make money off the data (unless consent is given), and the plaintiffs allege use of biometrics has allowed SP Plus to save on labor costs.

SP Plus has already faced a BIPA suit for a biometric employee time and attendance system. That lawsuit was dismissed because a collective bargaining agreement takes precedence over BIPA.

According to the legal-affairs publication Cook County (Ill.) Record, the plaintiffs were unaware biometric data had been gathered and stored until a problem prevented the car from leaving. A garage employee then informed them of the camera system.

The last biometrics privacy case has ended in an $825,000 settlement in which the defendants, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino and Boyd Gaming did not admit wrongdoing. A final approval hearing for the settlement is expected February 8.

Plaintiffs were anyone seen on security video footage collected From September 2020 to June 2021 at a sportsbook in western Illinois. No consent was requested or supplied, according to Top Class Actions, which publishes news on class actions.

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