The operator of the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Illinois is the defendant in a proposed class action that alleges the company’s use of facial recognition technology and storage of rewards program members’ facial geometries violates the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
The defendant, an affiliate of Penn National Gaming, utilizes security cameras equipped with facial recognition technology in order to scan consumers’ facial features and then compare those scans against a database filled with facial geometry templates, the lawsuit claims. According to the case, however, the defendant violated the Illinois BIPA by collecting individuals’ facial geometries without adhering to strict procedures concerning informed consent and the publication of data retention and destruction policies. The Illinois BIPA prohibits private entities from collecting unique identifiers, such as facial geometries, without obtaining the individuals’ written release authorizing such, and detailing in writing the purpose of such collection and the length of time the biometric data will be retained.
Hollywood Casino has ultimately put those whose faces it’s scanned and stored at a heightened risk of identity theft, the suit says.
The plaintiff, a member of the defendant’s rewards program, claims he’s gambled at Hollywood Casino as many as 20 times since 2014 and never provided consent for his facial geometry to be scanned, collected, stored or disseminated by the defendant. Hollywood Casino established neither a publicly available written policy detailing a retention schedule nor guidelines for permanently destroying scans of reward program members’ facial features.
The complaint, which has been removed to the district court for the state’s Eastern Division, states that the proposed class includes “hundreds, and likely thousands” of class members.