Microsoft and Amazon have granted summary judgment in biometric privacy lawsuits


A federal judge in Washington on Monday dismissed two putative class action lawsuits filed by Chicago residents Steven Vance and Tim Janecyk accusing Microsoft and Amazon of violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by ignoring IBM’s diversity in Faces Dataset containing facial biometrics of residents without using their permission.

The renewed and granted summary judgment motions of both companies, discovered by Law360, argue that under Illinois law, an out-of-state statute does not apply unless it expressly provides so, and BIPA contains no such provision.

Additionally, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart agreed that there was insufficient evidence that Microsoft’s actions related to the BIPA claims took place primarily in Illinois, and upheld the tech giant’s claims that its relevant actions took place in the Data centers in Washington and New York took place in connection with the photo data in question in Illinois.

Vance and Janecyk also filed a claim for unjust enrichment against Microsoft, but Judge Robart ruled against it.

“Considering the evidence in the most favorable light to the plaintiffs, the court concludes that the plaintiffs failed in their duty to identify specific facts from which a jury could reasonably conclude that Microsoft wrongfully conferred an advantage over the plaintiffs.” withheld,” the judge said in his Monday verdict.

As for Amazon, the company told the court that it had never used the dataset to develop or improve its products or services, so it could not have been unfairly enriched by it.

“Even if the information in the [Diversity in Faces] The data set constituted biometric information or identifiers (a disputed fact), Amazon simply did not get any “benefit” or “profit” from it,” Amazon explains.

On that basis, Judge Robart also granted the company’s motion for summary judgment, along with a motion by the company to seal its injunction.

The granted motions mean that both defendants will avoid trial and the lawsuits are likely to be dismissed.

The rulings could set a precedent and make it more difficult for Illinois residents to sue companies that do not have Illinois operations under BIPA.

Amazon is also at the center of another lawsuit over alleged use of voice biometrics by its virtual assistant Alexa.

Article Topics

Amazon | biometric data | Biometrics | BIPA | Privacy Policy | record | facial biometrics | Lawsuits | Microsoft