It might be useful to use Snapchat, even if you haven’t checked the app in years.
Snap Inc., the parent company of the social media app, will pay $ 35 million to current and former Illinois residents for allegedly archiving their facial recognition data without their consent.
If you’ve lived in the state for at least six months since November 17, 2015 and used Snapchat filters or lenses, you may be eligible for a payout ranging from $ 58 to $ 117, according to the Chicago Tribune.
You have until Saturday 5th November to file a complaint, which can be found on the transaction site website. You will need to include your Snapchat username and at least one address in Illinois where you lived.
The final hearing to approve the transaction is scheduled for November 17.
The lawsuit claims that the app’s filters and lenses spent years scanning users’ faces to apply special effects to photos without explicitly notifying users that they were creating and storing that data, making such actions illegal by law, according to the strict biometric privacy laws of Illinois.
Snap does not admit any wrongdoing under the current terms of the agreement and “continues to vehemently deny” that the features violate state law, a company spokesman told CNBC Make It.
The data it collects cannot be used to identify specific people, remains on users’ phones and is never sent to the company’s servers, the spokesperson said, adding that users in Illinois had received an in-app consent notice all. beginning of this year “in abundance of prudence”.
Facebook, TikTok, Google, Shutterfly, and Pret A Manger have also solved similar cases in Illinois in the past 14 months.
In May, Facebook’s $ 650 million deal sent payments of up to $ 397 to over 1.4 million people.
Google Photos Users May Get Their Payments Soon – The Company Settled For $ 100 Million In A Similar Suit In September, set up 420,000 current and former Illinois residents to receive approximately $ 150 each, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Other lawsuits across the country could follow as well.
Texas and Washington also have biometric privacy laws, and similar laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia will go into effect next year. California residents already enjoy some data protection under the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Federal rules are also possible. In August, the Federal Trade Commission announced it was “exploring rules to crack down” on companies that collect “large amounts of consumer information, only a small fraction of which share consumers protectively,” according to its website report. .
Any legal action outside of Illinois would likely be smaller, with fewer payments for users, says Caitlin Fennessy, vice president and chief knowledge officer at the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
This is because Illinois law has an unusually broad private right of action, or the right for US citizens to claim that their rights are violated by the law, he explains.
Fennessy also notes that as our collective understanding of data privacy grows, future lawsuits will focus less on user consent and more on what companies do with biometric data once they have it. .
Finally, “organizations will have to recognize that they cannot be hacked for data they do not hold and will have to think [and disclose] … about what data they collect and how much they need it, “he says.
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