People are always looking for an easy solution to get some cash, and if you live in Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation. How, you might ask? Well, it’s due to a multi-million dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit against Snapchat’s parent company.
According to nbc chicagothe company was sued and charged with violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by illegally collecting biometric information from users, such as unique facial features.
This happened using features like “Lenses” and “Filters”, without your consent. The lawsuit, filed in May, details that Snapchat’s lenses allow users to take a “Snap,” select a particular lens and modify their facial features with special effects, according to court documents.
Lawsuit Claims User Biometric Data Stored on Snapchat
The lawsuit also claims that the feature involves the use of technology to create a facial scan and “create, obtain, and store” a user’s unique biometric identifiers. The lawsuit also alleges that the feature obtained the plaintiffs’ biometric information without obtaining written informed consent each time it scanned their faces. The lawsuit is similar to another recent class action lawsuit specific to Illinois Facebook users.
Suppose you are not familiar with the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act. In that case, it prohibits private sector companies and institutions from collecting biometric data from unsuspecting citizens in the state or online, no matter where the company is located. Furthermore, this means that the data cannot be sold, transferred or traded. Unlike any other state, citizens can sue for alleged violations, which has sparked hundreds of legal battles against some of the most influential companies in the country.
If a business is found to have violated Illinois law, citizens can collect civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, compounded by the number of people affected and the days involved. Currently, there are no state regulatory agencies involved.
Alright roommates, I’ll get to the good part now that I’ve explained all of this.
Reports indicate a $35 million settlement has been reached in the case, but the amount must still go through a final approval hearing, which is scheduled for November. According to the settlement website, any Illinois resident who used Snapchat lenses or filters between November 17, 2015 and now is eligible to file a claim. The madoverbrandfor eligible residents to file their claims is November 5.
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