A lawsuit filed in March 2016 alleged Alphabet Inc’s Google violated Illinois state law by collecting and storing biometric data from people’s photographs using facial recognition software without their permission through its Google Photos service. Just recently, a U.S. District Judge in Chicago granted a Google motion for summary judgment, saying the court lacked “subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiffs have not suffered concrete injuries.” In what will likely not be the last of its kind, Reuters brought this interesting news to our attention in their article, “U.S. judge dismisses suit versus Google over facial recognition software.”
The plaintiffs had sought more than $5 million collectively by asking the court for $5,000 for each intentional violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, or $1,000 for every negligent violation.
As facial recognition use grows, so do privacy fears. The technology, using algorithms generated by a facial scan, can allow law enforcement to find a wanted person in a crowd or match the image of someone in police custody to a database of known offenders.
However, a growing fear for civil liberties activists is that law enforcement will deploy facial recognition in real time through drones, body cameras and dash cams.
Melody K. Smith