A proposed class action claims Henkel North American Consumer Goods has unlawfully collected without consent the biometric facial scans of visitors to cosmetic brand Schwarzkopf’s websites through a “virtual try-on” feature.
According to the 15-page lawsuit, Henkel has run afoul of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in that the “virtual try-on” element of its hair care brand’s website takes complete “scans of face geometry” without users’ consent. Per the suit, the defendant has also violated the BIPA by failing to disclose to website visitors how long their biometric data will be stored and when it will be destroyed.
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A visitor to Schwarzkopf’s websites can preview various products on their own hair by clicking the red “Live Preview” button found alongside certain items, the case relays. Upon doing so, the online feature “automatically activates his or her webcam, so that his or her real-time image appears immediately,” the complaint explains. The consumer can then see the hair care product, such as hair dye, overlaid onto either their complete face or half of their face for comparison, the filing says.
In addition, Henkel, whose Schwarzkopf brand portfolio includes Keratin Color, Color Ultime, Simply Color, Color Boost, Gliss and got2b, fails to provide a written policy detailing how long it will retain users’ biometric information and if it will destroy the data collected from consumers, the filing contends.
The plaintiff, an Illinois resident, has used the “virtual try-on” feature on Schwarzkopf’s websites several times in the past two years, the suit says. By doing so, her facial geometry was collected and stored by the defendant, the case alleges. The woman neither gave her consent nor was informed why or for how long her data will be retained, the complaint claims.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone residing in Illinois whose biometric data was collected by Henkel North American Consumer Goods through the use of the “virtual try-on” features on Schwarzkopf’s websites, including Schwarzkopf.com and Findyourcolor.Schwarzkopf.com.
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