Louis Vuitton North America, Inc. (LVNA) faces a proposed class action that claims the luxury retailer has violated an Illinois privacy law by collecting and storing residents’ biometric information through the virtual try-on feature on the brand’s website.
The 25-page lawsuit alleges Louis Vuitton allows visitors to us.louisvuitton.com to virtually try on sunglasses and eyeglasses without disclosing that the tool collects and stores their facial geometries or securing consent to do so. According to the suit, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) prohibits the collection of this type of biometric information by private entities unless a resident is properly informed of and affirmatively consents to it.
The suit more specifically claims that the defendant, the North American subsidiary of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, has violated the Illinois BIPA by failing to inform those who use its virtual try-on feature that their biometric information will be collected or stored and of the purpose and length of time for which the information will be collected, stored and used. Moreover, Louis Vuitton has failed to publish a publicly available retention policy and guidelines for destroying the data, and secure a written release from website visitors authorizing the collection and use of their information, the case alleges.
The case relays that visitors to Louis Vuitton’s website are presented with an option to “Try On” various types of eyewear products, including sunglasses, by using their phone or computer camera to display a real-time image of themselves or uploading a photograph of their face. According to the case, the try-on tool, which is powered by an application designed by FittingBox, then collects and processes the user’s facial geometry in order to overlay an image of the selected product onto their face.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that website visitors are unaware that Louis Vuitton collects and stores their biometric information when they use the retailer’s virtual try-on tool, and are never asked to provide their consent to the collection of their sensitive information.
“There is no approval, agreement, or confirmation process that a LVNA website user is required to go through to use the Virtual Try-On tool, and LVNA provides no warning that it is about to facilitate the capturing and storage of the user’s biometric data,” the complaint reads.
According to the case, Louis Vuitton violates the BIPA “each and every time” someone in Illinois uses its virtual try-on tool given consumers are not provided with the requisite disclosures or asked to sign a written release authorizing the collection of their biometric information.
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone whose biometric identifiers were captured by Louis Vuitton through the use of the virtual try-on feature on the defendant’s websites, including us.louisvuitton.com, while residing in Illinois within a yet-to-be specified timeframe.
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