Facial Recognition Technology and BIPA

As technology advances and more and more uses for biometric data are becoming mainstream, living in Illinois gives you key protections in the form of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA). Facial recognition technology in particular has come under scrutiny with the release of the iPhone X, which uses facial recognition software to unlock the phone and even use Apple Wallet.

Although the iPhone X has brought facial recognition technology into the public eye, this technology has been around for a long time and is used by companies such as Facebook, Shutterfly, Snapchat, and Google, all of which have been sued over it by Illinois residents.

If you feel your rights have been violated by large companies using your biometric data without your express consent, don’t hesitate to contact Markoff Leinberger at 888-517-9115 for a free legal consultation. We are familiar with BIPA and have the resources necessary to take on giant corporations on behalf of the consumer.

Potential Dangers of Facial Recognition Technology

While on the surface facial recognition technology may seem harmless, when you dig deeper there are a number of potential problems that could surface. Some of these could include:

  • Hackers stealing your facial biometric data
  • Companies spying on your expressions for advertising purposes
  • Law enforcement using your face to gain access to data on your phone
  • Someone could potentially gain access to your phone just by forcing you to look at it

While passwords can be changed if compromised, your face can’t be changed. If companies are irresponsible in safeguarding your facial biometric data, it could cause huge identity theft problems for the victim if stolen.

Plus, Facebook, Google, and other large corporations are already gathering information on your purchase habits and other online activities so that advertisers can target you ever more personally. Facial recognition technology presents a new avenue for advertisers to take advantage of, whether you want them to or not.

What Can You Do To Safeguard Your Biometric Data?

The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act specifies that companies need to obtain your consent in writing as well as have a plan for eventual disposal of biometric data. It has already been cited in numerous lawsuits against major corporations. While most of these lawsuits have either been settled or are still ongoing, Illinois residents are setting a precedent in holding these companies accountable for using your facial biometric data without permission.

If you are concerned that your facial data has been used in a negligent manner through facial recognition technology such as Facebook’s “tag your friends” feature, we encourage you to contact us for a legal consultation. Illinois is one of only two states that have biometric privacy laws in place, so we are at the forefront of these legal battles.

In addition to facial recognition technology, companies using other biometric data collection technologies such as fingerprint time clocks and retinal scans have come under fire for violating BIPA. Fingerprint time clocks have become more common as employers look for ways to more accurately track their employees, but many of these employers don’t bother to follow the rules laid out by BIPA.

Schedule Your Biometric Privacy Consultation Today

If you think that your biometric data has been used improperly or without your consent, contact the consumer law attorneys at Markoff Leinberger to schedule a free consultation by calling 888-517-9115 today. We serve clients in Chicago, Illinois and nationwide.  


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