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Snapchat agreed on August 8 to pay $35 million to users for storing facial data and other biometric information without permission. This relates to Snapchat Lenses which uses facial recognition technology without user consent - breaching Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Last month, Snap, the parent company, agreed to solve the class-action lawsuit by paying $35 million. However, it still denies the allegations, stressing that this data is stored on the phones of users, and not in their central data bank. The company added that its Lenses feature is able to, “identify an eye or a nose as being part of a face, but cannot identify an eye or a nose as belonging to any specific person”.
Snapchat is not the only company that has found itself at the mercy of Illinois’ data privacy requirements, with three other well-known companies falling foul of enforcement measures:
Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is a privacy law focused on protecting users' biometric data - facial scans, eyes, voice, fingerprints, or hands.
This legislation doesn’t prohibit the use of biometric information but requires companies to ask users to sign an agreement that includes information about the reason for using such information, how much it will be stored, when it will be deleted, and so on.
If you used a Snapchat lens or filter at any point from November 17, 2015 and lived in Illinois for at least six months during the class period, then you are eligible to make a claim online or by mail.
You’ll need to include the following information:
Wondering how much money you can earn from a Snapchat violation? You’ll receive a proportion of the settlement fund. The Chicago Tribune estimates an amount of money between $58 and $117.
You can file a mail-in claim until November 5, 2022. But if you decide to reject the settlement and take independent legal action instead, the deadline is October 6.
Companies are more and more supervised when it comes to data privacy. The laws became very strict and entities began to be charged for violating various privacy laws.
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