Folks are always looking for an easy come-up to get some cash, and if you live in Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation. How, you might ask? Well, it’s due to a multi-million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against Snapchat’s parent company.
According to NBC Chicago, the company was hit with a lawsuit and accused of violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act by illegally collecting users’ biometric information like unique facial features.
This occurred using features like “Lenses” and “Filters” — without their consent. The lawsuit, filed in May, details that Snapchat’s lenses allow users to take a “Snap,” select a particular lens, and modify their facial features with special effects, according to court documents.
The suit also claims the feature involves using technology to create a face scan and “creating, obtaining and storing” a user’s unique biometric identifiers. The suit also alleges the feature obtained the plaintiffs’ biometric information without obtaining informed written consent each time it scanned their faces. The lawsuit is similar to another recent class-action lawsuit specific to Illinois Facebook users.
Suppose you are unfamiliar with Illinois’ Biometric Privacy Act. In that case, it prohibits private sector companies and institutions from collecting biometric data from unsuspecting citizens in the state or online, no matter where the business is based. In addition, this means data cannot be sold, transferred, or traded. Unlike any other state, citizens can sue for alleged violations, which has sparked hundreds of legal battles against some of the nation’s most influential companies.
If a company is found to have violated Illinois’ law, citizens can collect civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation, compounded by the number of people affected and days involved. Currently, there are no state regulatory agencies involved.
Alright, Roommates, I’ll get to the good part now that I’ve explained all of this.
Reports state a $35 million settlement has been reached in the case, but the amount still needs to go through a final approval hearing, which is scheduled for November. Per the settlement website, any Illinois resident who used Snapchat Lenses or Filters between Nov. 17, 2015, and now is eligible to submit a claim. The deadline for eligible residents to submit their claims is November 5th.
For more information, visit their website here!