Walmart Hit With Illinois Class Action For Biometric Violations
Another day, and another really big company is finding itself on Illinois' hot seat for violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA.
As we've seen with others who have run afoul of BIPA, it may very well end up that Walmart has to part with some money to make this whole thing go away. And that's where you come in, potentially.
Walmart Is Not The First Company To Be Accused Of Violating Illinois' BIPA And It Probably Won't Be The Last
You may be one of the Illinois residents who jumped on board when Facebook was facing a similar lawsuit. Facebook was accused of grabbing up and keeping users' facial biometric data (a scanning of users faces) without receiving permission, which is a violation of Illinois law.
Those who qualified for, and joined the lawsuit against Facebook got around $400 ($397, to be exact) each in settlement money for their trouble.
Other tech companies who've had BIPA problems include:
- TikTok ($92 million settlement)
- Google ($100 million settlement)
- Snapchat ($35 million settlement)
Here's What Walmart (And Others) Are Accused Of Doing By The Plaintiff In The Case
By all appearances, it looks like anyone who walked into a Walmart in Illinois might have a claim here.
Illinois resident James Luthe is alleging that Walmart stores in Illinois collected, stored, and used biometric data without getting consent from the customers being scanned.
"Walmart's stores in Illinois are outfitted with cameras and advanced video surveillance systems that – unbeknownst to customers – surreptitiously collect, possess, or otherwise obtain Biometric Data. In addition, Walmart uses software provided by Clearview AI, Inc. to match facial scans taken in its Illinois stores with billions of facial scans maintained within Clearview's massive facial recognition database."
Other companies in the suit include Home Depot, Best Buy, Kohl's, and AT&T.
So, What Kind Of Settlement Money Are We Talking About?
This whole issue has not been settled yet, but if things go the way the plaintiff in the case would like them to, this could be a substantial cash settlement.
According to the suit against Walmart, the plaintiff is requesting that the complaint become a certified class action order that awards its members with "compensatory, non-compensatory, statutory, exemplary and punitive damages," in the form of $5,000 for each "intentional" BIPA violation, and $1,000 for each "negligent" BIPA violation.