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Protecting Biometric Data

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Protecting Biometric Data

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The ever-growing collection of Big Data includes fingerprints, voiceprints, iris scans, handprints and other biometric data. Three states, including Illinois, have enacted laws to protect its citizens’ biometric data. Lawsuits alleging violation of the Illinois law are pending against both Shutterfly and Facebook over facial recognition technology based on face geometry.

Shutterfly was unsuccessful in getting the case against it dismissed. Plaintiff Brian Norberg is claiming that, even though he is not a user of the photo sharing site, his face geometriy data is being collected, stored and used due to other users’ “tagging” him in photos. The court ruled that the data collected by Shutterfly was not exempt from the Illinois law as biometrics collected from a photograph.

The lawsuit against Facebook was transferred to a court in California. The final outcomes of these cases have yet to be determined. In the meantime, the Biometrics Institute has issued a revised version of its Biometrics Privacy Guidelines, which are intended to encourage privacy protection and responsibility in the use and development of biometric data on a global scale.

More information about the Shutterfly court decision is available here. Learn more about the Biometrics Institute Privacy Guidelines here. Contact us at Ossian Law regarding any information technology law matter.

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