Illinois residents who uploaded a selfie to verify their Bumble profile.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org believe Bumble may have illegally collected users’ facial geometries when they uploaded a selfie to confirm they matched their photos. They are now gathering Illinois residents who used Bumble’s photo verification feature to take action against the company.
How Much Could I Get?
While there are no guarantees, the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA) states that consumers who had their facial geometries illegally collected could be owed as much as $5,000 per violation.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to hear from Illinois residents who used Bumble and uploaded a selfie to verify that they were the person in their profile photos.
They have reason to believe that Bumble Inc., Buzz Holdings L.P., and/or Bumble Trading LLC may have violated Illinois privacy law by collecting and storing users’ facial geometries without providing required disclosures and obtaining proper consent.
Under the privacy law, consumers may be entitled to as much as $5,000 per violation.
What Is the Biometric Information Privacy Act?
The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is an Illinois state law that sets certain standards for how companies can handle consumers’ “biometrics” – that is, unique physical characteristics that can be used to identify an individual. Examples of biometrics include fingerprints, facial geometries, voice patterns, retina structure and even palm vein patterns.
Because biometrics are unique and cannot be changed (like compromised passwords can), the BIPA requires that companies take certain steps before obtaining these identifiers to ensure Illinois residents retain control of this data.
Under the BIPA, a private company cannot collect, capture, purchase or otherwise obtain a person’s biometric information unless it first:
Informs the individual in writing that biometric information is being collected or stored
Informs the individual in writing why the information is being collected, stored, and used and for how long
Receives written consent from the individual
The company must also create a written policy that’s available to the public and outlines how long the data will be kept, as well as guidelines for its destruction.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org believe that Bumble may have collected scans of users’ facial geometries from the selfies they uploaded during its photo verification process, which consumers may choose or, in some instances, be required to complete.
As part of this feature, users are shown a photo of a random pose they must mimic in a selfie. According to the dating app’s website, Bumble then uses a combination of human review and facial recognition technology to determine whether the selfie matches an individual’s profile pictures. Users whose identities have been confirmed receive a blue badge on their profile.
It’s possible that Bumble may have collected users’ biometric data through the photo verification feature without complying with the BIPA’s requirements, which could be a violation of their privacy.
Is This a Lawsuit? What Am I Signing Up For, Exactly?
You are not signing up for a lawsuit, but rather a process known as mass arbitration. This is a relatively new legal technique that, like a class action lawsuit, allows a large group of people to take action and seek compensation from a company over an alleged wrongdoing. Here is a quick explanation of mass arbitration from our blog:
[M]ass arbitration occurs when hundreds or thousands of consumers file individual arbitration claims against the same company over the same issue at the same time. The aim of a mass arbitration proceeding is to grant relief on a large scale (similar to a class action lawsuit) for those who sign up.”
It’s for this reason that attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to handle this matter as a mass arbitration rather than a class action lawsuit.
How Much Does This Cost?
It costs nothing to sign up, and you’ll only need to pay if the attorneys win money on your behalf. Their payment will come as a percentage of your award.
If they don’t win your claim, you don’t pay.
How Much Money Could I Get?
There are no guarantees as to how much money you will get or whether your claim will be successful. The BIPA, however, provides that companies may be responsible for paying consumers $1,000 for negligent violations of the law and as much as $5,000 for willful violations.