A proposed class action alleges Walmart has unlawfully collected Illinois shoppers’ biometric information through security cameras in its retail stores.
According to the 23-page case, Walmart uses cameras and “advanced video surveillance systems” in its stores to capture images of shoppers’ faces and then uploads those images to a facial recognition database “for security and other purposes.” Per the case, the information gleaned from security footage constitutes shoppers’ biometric data, a category of personal information that includes iris and retina scans, fingerprints, voiceprints and scans of hand and face geometry.
The lawsuit alleges Walmart has violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a state law that regulates the collection, storage and use of residents’ biometric data by private entities, by failing to provide certain disclosures and obtain consent from shoppers before collecting their biometric information.
More specifically, the case claims Walmart has failed to inform shoppers in writing that their biometric information is being collected, and of the purpose and length of time for which the data will be stored and used. The retailer has also failed to develop a publicly available retention schedule and guidelines for the permanent destruction of the data, and obtain a written release from consumers to use their biometric information, the suit says. Per the complaint, these are all requirements of the BIPA.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Walmart has also unlawfully uploaded images of shoppers’ faces to a massive biometric database provided by non-party Clearview AI. Per the suit, the database allows Walmart to compare images from security footage against billions of other facial images for identification purposes. The case claims, however, that Walmart does not disclose to shoppers that it will share their biometric information with an unrelated third party, as required by the BIPA.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone who, while residing in Illinois, had their biometric information collected, captured, received, obtained, stored, sold, leased, traded, disclosed, redisclosed, disseminated or otherwise profited from or used by Walmart, Inc. without their consent.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.
Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Women who developed cancer, endometriosis or reproductive problems after using hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely and Motions may now have an opportunity to take legal action.