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Illinois woman sues Target for collecting biometric data without consent

An Illinois woman has filed a class action lawsuit against Target, alleging the retailer collected and stored biometric data, including facial and fingerprint scans, without her consent, in violation of state law.

Arnetta Dean, who filed the lawsuit to prevent Target from further violating the privacy rights of state residents, is also seeking statutory damages for the company’s alleged collection, storage and use of customers’ biometric data. This was revealed in a lawsuit obtained by the newspaper. FOX 32 Chicago.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Cook County, alleges that Target’s surveillance system, which includes cameras equipped with facial recognition technology installed at its Illinois stores, “secretly” recorded customers’ biometric data without their knowledge or consent. claims to be collecting.

“Target did not notify customers of this fact prior to entering the store, nor did Target obtain consent before collecting customers’ biometric data,” the lawsuit says.

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The complaint alleges that Target’s surveillance systems “secretly” collect customers’ biometric data without their knowledge or consent. (license/image)

The complaint alleges that Target collects, stores, and uses biometric information without obtaining written consent from its customers or providing customers with sufficient information regarding its data retention and destruction policies. Violated the Privacy Act (BIPA).

Passed in 2008, BIPA prohibits companies in Illinois from collecting, storing, or providing biometric data without providing notice and obtaining an individual’s consent. Companies must also inform individuals of the specific purpose and duration of data collection, and must disclose how the information will be retained and when it will be destroyed.

According to the complaint, Target failed to comply with the aforementioned requirements.

According to the complaint, biometric data, unlike other identifiers used to access sensitive information, is biologically unique and cannot be easily changed if compromised, leaving individuals at risk of identity theft. This will increase the

“For example, Social Security numbers may be subject to change if compromised,” according to the complaint. “However, because biometrics are biologically unique to individuals, once compromised, individuals are left with no recourse, increasing the risk of identity theft, and are more likely to withdraw from transactions that rely on biometrics. Masu.”

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Target is accused of violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. (license/image)

Target’s “sophisticated electronic surveillance system” includes operating 14 investigative centers and two forensic laboratories to “enhance video footage and analyze fingerprints,” according to the lawsuit. It has been pointed out that the system was created to detect shoplifters, but it detects customers’ faces every time they enter or leave a store.

Under BIPA, individuals have a private right of action to sue for violations of the Act, with damages ranging from $1,000 for negligent violations to $5,000 for willful or reckless violations. in addition to attorney’s fees and injunctive relief.

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Dean’s lawsuit attempts to do just that, awarding statutory damages of $5,000 for “any willful and reckless violation of the law,” or $1,000 if the violation is found to be negligent, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. Other legal costs are being sought.

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Similar class action lawsuits have recently been filed against other companies for allegedly violating BIPA. In 2022, Facebook was accused of violating the law and ended up paying a $650 million settlement. More than 1 million Facebook users in Illinois received checks for nearly $400 each as part of the settlement.

A class action lawsuit has also been filed against Google, Snapchat, and TikTok alleging violations of Illinois’ BIPA law.

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