* First, some background from the Illinois Radio Network…
Some Illinois residents could soon receive a check as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit against Google.
The lawsuit, which is similar to the one settled recently with Facebook, claimed the company violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act with the Google Photos app. According to plaintiffs, the social media platform illegally used facial recognition data, gathered without consent, to prompt users to tag their friends in photos.
“Illinois does have the most far reaching biometric information protection law in the country,” said Ed Yohnka, director of communications with the ACLU of Illinois. “Illinois has been a place that has really protected the privacy of individuals who live here.”
* More from NBC 5…
Illinois’ Biometric Privacy Act prohibits private sector companies and institutions from collecting biometric data from unsuspecting citizens in the state or online, no matter where the business is based. Data cannot be sold, transferred or traded. Unlike any other state, citizens can sue for alleged violations, which has sparked hundreds of David-and-Goliath legal battles against some of the world’s most powerful companies.
If a company is found to have violated Illinois law, citizens can collect civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation compounded by the number of people affected and days involved. No state regulatory agency is involved in enforcement.
A question about repealing or modifying the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which has inundated business with class-action lawsuits, provided each candidate an opportunity to lambast Michael Madigan or the legislative body he controlled as speaker for 36 years.
“Mike Madigan’s decision to hand policy control to the trial lawyers for decades has taken its toll on the state’s economy,” Irvin says. “Alongside cutting income taxes, lowering property taxes, getting crime under control and rooting out corruption, curbing lawsuit abuse is an important element of a comprehensive economic growth strategy.” Bailey says, “Illinois has a long history of being a haven for abusive lawsuits, and the legislature has been complicit in enacting legislation that has worsened a bad situation. I have consistently opposed these unnecessary efforts.”