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Motion to Dismiss Google Suit Denied

March 2, 2017 | David P. MilianArticles

A Chicago federal judge has denied Google, Inc's motion to dismiss in a case brought against it by Carey Rodriguez Milian LLP, reports the Cook County Record.

US District Judge Edmond Chang rejected Google's argument that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) does not apply to biometric identifiers obtained from photographs.

The company is accused of violating the Illinois statute by creating face scans of the plaintiffs without their consent and storing data on their facial geometry.

"Google had attempted to argue the law should only apply to face scans generated in person, and not scans generated from photos uploaded by users," the author writes. "But, said the judge, the text of the law does not support Google's contention."

“[Plaintiffs] Rivera and Weiss nowhere argue that the photograph itself is the biometric identifier,” wrote Judge Chang. “Indeed, if Google simply captured and stored the photographs and did not measure and generate scans of face geometry, then there would be no violation of the Act.” 

The case is set to proceed, just one in a number of lawsuits filed by CRMG against technology companies circumventing the consumer protections outlined in BIPA. 

Partner David Milian, who represents plaintiffs in this and other biometric privacy cases, notes that this emerging area of law is of utmost importance given the sensitive nature of biometric information.

"The data privacy concerns are enormous," he explains. "You can always change your password or get a new credit card or social security number if these websites are hacked, but you can't change your facial geometry." 

Read the full article in the Cook County Record here.