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BIPA might be changing, but not soon enough for some class action defendants

BIPA might be changing, but not soon enough for some class action defendants

Regulatory relief for biometrics-gathering companies in the U.S. state of Illinois didn’t arrive in the just-ending legislative session.

There is hope that the regular abbreviated session this fall might result in a new, more business-friendly Biometric Information Privacy Act. There even is a chance that a change, if passed, could come in time to lessen the sting of proposed class actions facing Amazon and Vimeo.

Targeted businesses wish BIPA would go away, but being realistic, many would, for now, at least, settle for limits on how violations are counted and how big fines can be.

For those just arriving from the moon, BIPA is a 2008 Illinois law that requires that businesses get express consent before collecting any biometric identifiers from state residents and inform them of how that information will be managed.

This week, a putative class action (Case 2023LA000690) was filed against Amazon’s Web Services unit in Madison County Circuit Court, according to the Madison-St. Clair Record.

AWS’ customer support service contracts with Pindrop Security for voice authentication to reduce fraudulent calls. Allegedly no Illinois residents were offered by Amazon a chance to expressly consent to the recording and voice analysis, hence the suit.

Vimeo and Respondus are unlikely to benefit from a law changed, if any.

The Cook County (Ill.) Record is reporting that the video-hosting pioneer is near settling a 2019 BIPA class action that alleges BIPA was violated by illegal facial scans.

In federal court, the named plaintiff preliminarily approved a $2.25 million payout to end the proceedings. The problem began when Vimeo bought the Magisto video-editing app. The app detects faces and recognizes them to help in editing videos.

The online proctoring provider has agreed to settle its BIPA suit for $6.25 million, the Cook Country Record separately reports. Plaintiff’s lawyers are expected to request up to $2.5 million from the total. Students will get an estimated $50 each. Multiple schools that used Respondus’ service have been sued under BIPA, with DePaul University defeating a lawsuit late last year.

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