A proposed class action lawsuit claims X Corp., which owns and operates Twitter, has wrongfully captured, stored and used Illinois residents’ biometric data, including facial scans, without consent.
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The 16-page lawsuit says that as part of the defendant’s effort to detect and filter explicit images, the social media company has unlawfully collected and stored the facial scans of every person whose face appears in a photograph uploaded to Twitter.
The suit more specifically alleges that Twitter has run afoul of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by capturing and storing users’ biometric information without notice or express consent and failing to provide policies that disclose how long it will retain their data and when it will be destroyed.
Since 2015, Twitter has used software called PhotoDNA to “police” pornographic and other explicit images uploaded to the platform, the case explains. Per the complaint, the software works by creating a “hash,” or unique digital signature, of each uploaded image that is then analyzed against other hashes. The image is then tagged by Twitter if determined to be explicit, the suit says.
The filing contends that the company stores hashes of all images uploaded to the platform, thereby maintaining the digital scans of every person whose face appears in a photo without their consent.
Despite this, the defendant has failed to notify Twitter users that it captures and stores their biometric information and has not disclosed any data retention or destruction policies, as required by law, the case claims.
The lawsuit looks to represent any Illinois residents whose biometric data was collected, stored or used by Twitter by way of its use of software to analyze uploaded images containing their faces.
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