A proposed class action lawsuit alleges Brainshark, Inc. has through its machine analysis software collected scans of Illinois residents’ faces without providing statutory disclosures or obtaining written consent to collect their biometric information.
The eight-page case claims Brainshark, which provides software as a service-based applications to its business customers for training sales personnel, has failed to comply with certain provisions of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) before collecting Illinois residents’ biometrics, i.e., scans of their facial geometry, through videos uploaded to its software.
More specifically, the lawsuit alleges Brainshark has failed to inform users of its technology that their biometric information will be collected and the purpose and length of time for which their information will be collected, stored and used. Further, the defendant has failed to obtain users’ written consent before collecting their biometric information, according to the complaint.
Brainshark, the suit explains, provides software to hundreds of companies who use the defendant’s artificial intelligence machine analysis to help train and improve the performance of sales employees. According to the case, when an individual uploads a video of their sales presentation, Brainshark’s software uses “cutting edge facial mapping technology” to identify emotions in the salesperson’s face, including happiness, surprise, sadness, anger, contempt, aversion and fear, and notes how often they occur.
In the process of performing its emotional analysis, Brainshark’s technology scans the facial geometry of the individuals presenting in the videos and then shares the results of its analysis with their employers, the case relays. The lawsuit alleges, however, that the individuals were never properly informed that Brainshark would be capturing their facial geometries or how these sensitive biometric identifiers would be used, and never provided their consent to have such information collected.
The case seeks to cover Illinois residents who, anytime since September 9, 2016, uploaded a video to Brainshark from Illinois and from whom the defendant “captured, collected, or otherwise obtained” one or more scans of their facial geometry.
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