Giorgio Armani’s virtual “Try-It-On” feature is at the center of a proposed class action that alleges the luxury clothing retailer does not secure informed consent before capturing consumers’ facial scans.
The 26-page complaint in Illinois alleges Armani has run afoul of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by capturing and storing scans of Try-It-On users’ facial geometry without first providing certain disclosures about its collection of the data and how long the information would be retained, or obtaining informed written consent to do so.
“Defendant is depriving consumers of any meaningful opportunity to make an informed decision about the collection and use of their own biometrics, in direct violation of [the] BIPA,” the case charges.
To use Armani’s Try-It-On tool, a consumer need only upload a picture of their face or turn on their live camera in order to see how they would look with certain makeup and beauty products, the lawsuit relays. The feature utilizes facial geometry data and facial detection and recognition technology from ModiFace, an augmented reality beauty tech company, to digitally apply cosmetic products to the images and live video uploaded by users, the suit explains.
More specifically, Armani’s Try-It-On algorithm “scans the face in each photo and video to detect facial features or landmarks and calculates a unique digital map” of a person’s face based on, for instance, the distance between various facial features, the case relays.
The lawsuit points out, however, that a person’s facial geometry, like their fingerprints, voiceprint and retinal patterns, is unique to them. Each Armani Try-It-On user’s facial scan constitutes what the BIPA considers a “biometric identifier,” the suit says.
Under the Illinois BIPA, Armani must obtain an executed, written release from a consumer prior to capturing, collecting, possessing, obtaining or storing their biometric information, the lawsuit says. The retailer must also inform Try-It-On users in writing both that their biometric information is being collected, captured or obtained and of the length of time and purposes for which this data will be kept by Armani, the suit stresses. Moreover, Armani must make available a publicly written retention policy that discloses when the company will permanently destroy users’ biometric data, the case adds.
“BIPA makes all of these requirements a precondition to the collection or recording of face geometry scans or other associated biometric information,” the suit reads.
The lawsuit looks to represent all Illinois residents who used Giorgio Armani’s Try-It-On feature in the state between February 9, 2017 and the present.
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