Illinois residents who have an Instagram, WhatsApp or Oculus VR account.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether the companies are acting in compliance with an Illinois-specific privacy law known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
What’s This Privacy Law About?
The law provides that a company must meet several requirements before it can collect Illinois consumers’ biometric information, which includes scans of people’s facial geometries or “faceprints.” These requirements include receiving a user’s written consent before collecting and storing any of their biometric data.
How a Lawsuit Can Help
A lawsuit, if filed and successful, could correct any illegal data collection practices and provide $1,000 per violation – or $5,000 if the company is found to have acted recklessly or intentionally.
What You Can Do
To help with their investigation, attorneys working with ClassAction.org are interested in speaking to Illinois Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus VR users. Fill out the form on this page to get in touch and to learn more about what you can do.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak to residents of Illinois who have an Instagram,WhatsApp or Oculus VR account.
They are investigating whether the companies are following a state-specific privacy law known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). If they discover any potential violations of this law, they may be able to file a class action lawsuit seeking up to $1,000 per violation – or more if a company is found to have acted in a reckless or intentional manner.
If you live in Illinois and have an Instagram, WhatsApp or Oculus VR account, fill out the form on this page. After you get in touch, one of the attorneys handling this investigation may reach out to you directly to explain more about what you can do and why you may be owed money.
What’s the Biometric Information Privacy Act?
The BIPA is a law specific to Illinois that provides protections regarding the collection and storage of consumers’ biometric information. Biometric data generally includes fingerprints, “voiceprints,” retina or iris scans, and scans of a person’s “facial geometry” – also known as “faceprints.”
To legally collect this data from Illinois residents, a company must:
Inform the individual in writing that their information will be collected or stored
Inform the individual in writing of the purpose and length of time for which their data will be collected, stored and used
Receive written consent from the individual to collect and store their information
The company must also make a retention schedule and guidelines publicly available, explaining how and when the biometric information will be destroyed.
Attorneys are now looking into whether Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus VR collected biometric data and, if so, whether they followed these requirements for those living in Illinois.
Why Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus – and Why Now?
In January, Facebook agreed to pay $550 million to resolve claims that it violated the BIPA with the use of its “tag suggestion” feature. The proposed settlement, however, looks to exclude companies that Facebook owns – for instance, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus VR – and will provide compensation for Illinois Facebook users only.
In light of this development, attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus VR users in Illinois are being subjected to similar practices – and, if so, whether they can bring a class action lawsuit.
What Can I Get from a Class Action?
Class action lawsuits alleging violations of the BIPA generally seek $1,000 per violation. If a company is found to have acted recklessly or intentionally, an award of $5,000 per violation may become available. A successful case could also force a company to come into compliance with the BIPA.
Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus VR users living in Illinois who would like to learn more about this investigation and what it means for them should fill out the form on this page.