Mercari Investigation: Were Your Privacy Rights Violated?
Last Updated on May 25, 2023
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Illinois residents who uploaded a photo ID and a picture of their face to verify their Mercari.com profile.
- What’s Going On?
- Attorneys working with ClassAction.org believe that Mercari may have illegally collected and stored Illinois users’ facial geometries when they uploaded their IDs and selfies for profile verification purposes. They are now gathering Illinois residents with Mercari.com accounts to take action against the company.
- What You Can Do
- If you verified your Mercari.com profile by uploading an ID and a selfie while living in Illinois, join others taking action by filling out the form linked below.
- What Am I Signing Up For, Exactly?
- You’re signing up for what’s known as “mass arbitration,” which involves hundreds or thousands of consumers bringing individual arbitration claims against the same company at the same time and over the same issue. This is different from class action litigation and takes place outside of court.
- Does This Cost Anything?
- It costs nothing to sign up, and the attorneys will only get paid if they win your claim.
- How Much Could I Get?
- While there are no guarantees, Illinois law states that consumers who had their facial geometries illegally collected could be owed as much as $5,000 per violation.
Do you have a Mercari.com account?
If you uploaded your ID and a selfie to verify your Mercari profile, join other Illinois residents taking action. It doesn’t cost anything, and all you have to do is fill out a quick form using the link below.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak with Illinois residents who uploaded a photo ID and a picture of their faces to verify their Mercari.com profiles.
They have reason to believe that the company may have collected and stored users’ biometric data – specifically, scans of their faces – in violation of a state-specific law known as the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Lawsuits filed under the BIPA have the potential to provide up to $1,000 or more per privacy violation.
If you’re an Illinois resident who uploaded your ID and a selfie to verify your Mercari profile, join others taking action against the company by filling out this quick, secure form today.
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.
According to Mercari’s website, users may be asked to provide the company with their driver’s license or other government-issued identification for verification purposes. If consumers refuse to provide the requested information, Mercari states that it may not be able to process their transactions and their account may be closed.
Additionally, Mercari.com users can choose to verify their identity to earn a badge on their profile that “[lets] others know you’re really you” and allows access to certain marketplace features. As part of the verification process, users are asked to upload their government-issued ID and a selfie to confirm they are who they say they are.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are now investigating whether Mercari collected scans of users’ facial geometries from the photos they uploaded during these verification processes. If so, it’s possible that the company may have violated the BIPA by failing to meet the statute’s disclosure and consent requirements before collecting users’ biometric data.
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 by getting the company to agree to a quick settlement instead of arbitrating every claim and paying the costly upfront fees.”
Mercari’s terms of service contain a clause requiring consumers to resolve any disputes through arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution that takes place outside of court before a neutral arbitrator, as opposed to a judge or jury.
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.
Sign Up and Take Action
Are you an Illinois resident who uploaded photos to verify your identity on Mercari.com? If so, join others taking action by filling out this quick, secure form today.
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