Google Photos Defeats Privacy Lawsuit Over Face Scans–Rivera v. Google

This case provides a glimpse into the legacy of the Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision on the injury-in-fact requirements for Article III standing in federal court. When it was issued, I called Spokeo a “jurisprudential clusterfuck.” Indeed, the subsequent caselaw has been messy–including this case! Google Photos automatically creates “face templates” from uploaded photos and then lets the uploading user sort the photos by face. The court assumes, without deciding, that the face templates and associated data constitute biometric information pursuant to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Users can opt-out of this feature; but the court assumes, without deciding, that users (and anyone else depicted in the photos) did not consent to the feature. Google claims it only uses the face templates for the sorting feature. There is no evidence Google has disclosed the face templates, voluntarily or involuntarily, to any third…

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