BIPA defendants take their fates out of courts; Samsung can’t avoid arbitration
For all its boilerplate bluster about winning the biometric privacy lawsuit it was defending against in the United States, face-scraper Clearview AI is settling.
Details of the settlement have not been, and may never be, revealed, so it is possible that other defendants involved in other Biometric Information Privacy Act cases would be jealous of how far the agreement leans to Clearview.
But the reality more likely is that Clearview and its investors will have saved themselves some of the penalties that were sought in the putative class action, which also involved defendant retailer Macy’s.
The deal, arrived at through mediation, must be approved by Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in the Northern District of the state of Illinois.
It would be a valuable outcome for Clearview and Macy’s as it would cease biometric privacy accusations that have been made against the pair in Virginia, New York and California, according to Media Daily News.
BNSF Railway, also a U.S. defendant in a BIPA class action, has likewise decided to settle. A judge in Chicago federal court had in June set aside the $228 million in damages won by truck drivers forced to give up face photos.
The judge involved said damages were discretionary, while the jury deliberated on the assumption that they were automatic. Rather than remount for a battle on total damages, lawyers and the drivers and the rail company settled. This settlement also must be approved by the judge, according to Reuters.
National pizza chain and BIPA defendant Little Caesars also has settled a case brought by its 8,000 employees.
According to the Cook County (Ill.) Record, the pizza chain agreed to pay $7 million to employees who claimed that they were forced to surrender fingerprint data to a biometric time clock at work. The Record reports that class members will receive $545 apiece.
Little Caesars denied it did anything wrong or that it violated BIPA. Regardless, the company agreed to delete all finger scan data held by the time clock unless the subjects are at least former employees under special circumstances, according to the Record.
Another BIPA draw has been declared, too.
A U.S. district judge has found for defendant Samsung and plaintiffs in competing motions.
Samsung is accused of collecting and storing face scans for Illinois residents whose image was recorded using some models of Galaxy phones and tablets. Its defense is that device terms and conditions state that personal information will be collected.
In case 22CV05506, the judge agreed with a motion by Samsung to dismiss the cases of 14,000 would-be class members because those individuals allegedly lack the proper venue. Another 35,000 potential class members remain plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs, on the other hand, have persuaded the judge to force Samsung into 35,000 arbitration proceedings, an outcome laid out in advance in Samsung’s terms and conditions. Samsung had balked at the $4 million in arbitration filing fees the arrangement obliged it to pay.