A proposed class action lawsuit alleges Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena Skin360 at-home skin assessment technology unlawfully collects consumers’ biometric information without their informed consent to do so.
The 23-page case claims that the Neutrogena Skin360 tool, which scans an image of a consumer’s face and makes personalized skincare recommendations, utilizes “a sophisticated and precise facial recognition and skin analysis program” through which the individual’s biometric information, i.e., a scan of their facial geometry, is collected, stored and used.
The problem, according to the case, is that Johnson & Johnson has failed to make certain disclosures and obtain consent before collecting users’ sensitive biometric data. This failure, the lawsuit alleges, is a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a state law that regulates companies’ use of such data.
Per the complaint, Johnson & Johnson has violated Illinois residents’ right to control and make informed decisions about the company’s collection, storage and use of their “highly sensitive biometric information.”
The case states that the Neutrogena Skin360 program, which is available on skin360.neutrogena.com and through a downloadable app, works by taking a 180-degree scan of a user’s face and analyzing the scan to diagnose skin health issues such as dark circles, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and texture. The program then recommends a personalized skincare regimen for the user consisting of Neutrogena products, the suit relays.
According to the complaint, the Neutrogena Skin360 program uses the Perfect Corp’s YouCam technology, which has facial detection, tracking, mapping and advanced facial recognition capabilities.
“This kind of technology is precisely the type that is regulated by BIPA,” the complaint states, stressing that scans of consumers’ facial geometries constitute biometric data.
The lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson collects and uses Illinois residents’ biometric data without satisfying the BIPA’s strict disclosure and consent requirements. More specifically, the case claims that the defendant has failed to:
Inform users in writing that their biometric information would be collected, stored and used;
Inform users in writing of the purpose and length of time for which their data would be collected, stored and used; and
Obtain a written release from users to collect, store and use their biometric information.
The case further alleges that Johnson & Johnson has failed to develop and publish a publicly available retention schedule and guidelines for the permanent destruction of consumers’ biometric data, as required by the BIPA.
Finally, the lawsuit claims that the defendant has unlawfully profited from Illinois residents’ sensitive biometric information by using the data to enhance its artificial intelligence assistant, which in turn recommends Neutrogena products to consumers.
“By its continued marketing of the technology on its website, on social media, on YouTube, Defendant is commercially disseminating Plaintiff and the Class members’ biometric data to prospective new customers and directly profiting from it,” the complaint reads.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone whose biometric identifiers and information were captured, collected, stored, used, transmitted, disseminated, sold, traded or profited from by Johnson & Johnson through its Neutrogena Skin360 tool and associated technologies within Illinois at any time within the applicable statute of limitations period.
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