Saturday is the last day for Illinois residents to demand a $100 million cut in the Google Photos privacy settlement

Saturday is the last day for Illinois residents to demand a $100 million cut in the Google Photos privacy settlement

Illinois residents have until Saturday to file claims for the reversal of a $100 million class action lawsuit won this spring in a lawsuit against Google alleging violations of the state’s biometric privacy law.

Anyone with a photo on Google Photos while residing in Illinois between May 1, 2015 and April 25, 2022 is eligible to file a claim, either on the settlement website or by mail. The attorneys estimate that each member of the class will receive between $200 and $400, although the exact amount of the payments will depend on how many people file claims.

The lawsuit alleges that Google’s face grouping tool, which classifies faces in Google Photos by similarity, violated the state’s biometric privacy law. The law known as the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act requires companies to obtain user consent to use such technologies.

Google has not admitted any wrongdoing in the deal. In April, company spokesman José Castañeda said the company would implement opt-in consent to tackle bundling in Illinois and gradually throughout the United States. He confirmed Friday that opt-in consent has been fully implemented in Illinois.

A final hearing to approve the case is scheduled for Wednesday before Cook County Judge Anna M. Loftus, who granted preliminary approval of the settlement agreement this spring. If the deal is approved, applicants could receive their money within 90 days of approval, though any objections would delay the process.

The Google Photos Settlement resolves a series of lawsuits brought by five named plaintiffs, the first of which was filed in 2016 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Two plaintiffs filed lawsuits in state court in 2019 after a judge determined they lacked standing to sue in federal court; Subsequently, other plaintiffs filed their own lawsuits. Each of the five named plaintiffs is entitled to $5,000 in payments. Their attorneys may request fees of up to $40 million plus costs and expenses to be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

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Illinois’ biometric privacy law is among the strictest in the United States and has sparked hundreds of lawsuits since it was passed in 2008.

November looms with another deadline for class action lawsuits for state residents who use Snapchat. The app’s parent company, Snap Inc., settled for $35 million last month in a lawsuit over allegations that its lenses and filters violate state law.

The deadline to file claims in the Snapchat Settlement is November 5; Residents can do this on the settlement website. The attorneys estimate the payments to range from $58 to $117.

Snap did not admit any wrongdoing in the deal. The company said last month that it “vehemently denies” that its technology violates Illinois law and said it introduced consent in the app in the state “out of an abundance of caution.”

This spring, some Illinois Facebook users received nearly $400 in payments after Facebook won a $650 million class action lawsuit over its facial recognition feature. Final approval in the case was granted in February 2021, but payments were delayed by an appeal.


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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.