No hearing necessary as biometric data privacy lawsuit against FaceTec dropped
A lawsuit alleging biometric data privacy violations by FaceTec has been formally dismissed without a hearing, after plaintiffs’ counsel discovered that the requirements for collecting informed consent from data subjects do not apply to the facial authentication provider.
The allegations under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act apply to entities storing and using people’s biometrics. In contrast to facial authentication providers who provide their biometrics checks as a cloud service running on third-party servers, FaceTec’s software runs on its customers’ servers, behind their firewalls. That means that while FaceTec’s clients must obtain informed consent from end-users, FaceTec is immune.
The legal machinations to drop the case began in January, after the company filed a motion explaining how its 3D face biometrics software works.
“FaceTec has created the most privacy-conscious identity verification architecture on the market because FaceTec software is designed so customer’s collect and process PII from their own end-users,” explains Terry Coffing, FaceTec’s chief legal officer. “Plaintiff’s counsel, McGuire Law, PC, reviewed that architecture and voluntarily dismissed the case consistent with their ethical obligations and the facts. This decision shows that in a patchwork of increasingly difficult-to-navigate biometric privacy frameworks, straightforward, two-party, privacy-focused biometric architectures are a win for both the end-users and organizations.”
McGuire Law is one of America’s most prominent class-action plaintiffs’ firms, and its change of direction for voluntary dismissal is rare, according to a company announcement.
FaceTec says in the announcement that its privacy-by-design architecture avoids any need for personally identifiable information (PII) and biometric data to be transmitted to third-party servers in the U.S. or overseas, which can expose KYC providers and relying parties to additional obligations under BIPA.