Wexler Boley & Elgersma is currently investigating allegations that Amazon violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act through its Amazon Photos service, which uses image recognition to illegally obtain residents’ biometric identifiers and information without consent. If you’re an Illinois resident who uses Amazon Photos, or believes that your image has been uploaded to the platform by someone else, please contact us.
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act protects consumers and others by regulating private companies’ collection, use, safeguarding, handling, storage, retention, and destruction of person’s biometric identifiers and information.
Amazon Photos is a cloud-based photo storage, sharing, and organization service launched by Amazon in 2014 that is available to Amazon Prime subscribers and those invited by a subscriber through the Family Vault feature. One feature of Amazon Photos is image recognition, which daily analyzes billions of images stored through Amazon Photos.
Wexler Boley & Elgersma filed a Complaint on May 12, 2021 on behalf of a plaintiff and a putative class of Illinois residents whose images were uploaded to Amazon Photos and scanned by the image-recognition feature. The Complaint alleges that each time a photograph contains an image of a person’s face, Amazon’s facial recognition technology obtains that person’s biometric identifiers in the form of a scan of face geometry.
The Complaint further alleges that Amazon’s use of facial recognition to obtain the biometric identifiers of Illinois residents violates the Biometric Information Privacy Act by unlawfully (a) collecting the biometric data of the plaintiff and class members without making publicly available a policy establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying biometric identifiers and information; (b) obtaining the biometric data of the plaintiff and class members without first providing adequate written notice and obtaining their informed written consent; and (c) profiting from the biometric data of the plaintiff and class members by using the data to improve Amazon’s Rekognition technology, which Amazon sells to businesses, governmental entities, and other organization.
As alleged in the Complaint, the facial-recognition feature of Amazon Photos not only obtains biometric identifiers and information of Prime subscribers who use the service, but its facial‑recognition feature also scans the facial geometry of every person who appears in a picture saved to Amazon Photos, regardless of whether that person is a Prime subscriber or someone who has no idea that a photo of them has been uploaded to the platform. To read our complaint in full, click here.
If you or someone you know is a resident of Illinois and either uses Amazon Photos or believes that your image has been uploaded to Amazon Photos by someone else, please