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Rivera v. Google Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

February 27, 2017, Decided; February 27, 2017, Filed

No. 16 C 02714

Opinion

 [*1090]  Memorandum Opinion And Order

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act forbids the unauthorized collection and storing of some types of biometric data. 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq. A private entity cannot gather and use someone's [**2]  "biometric identifier"—defined as retinal or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, or hand or face geometry scans—unless that person has consented. Id. § 14/10. The Act also bans the non-consensual collection and storage of information (the Act labels it "biometric information") that is "based on" those biometric identifiers. Id.

In the months leading up to March 2016, photographs of Lindabeth Rivera were allegedly taken by a "Google Droid device"1 in Illinois and automatically uploaded to Google Photos, a cloud-based service. R. 40, Rivera First Am. Compl. ¶ 27.2 From there, Rivera claims, Google immediately scanned her facial features to create a unique face "template." Id. ¶ 28. Rivera brings suit against Google for a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act, arguing that the company took a scan of her facial geometry without her consent. Id. ¶¶ 45. Joseph Weiss alleges a violation of the same Act on the same grounds.3 See R.  [*1091]  41, Weiss First Am. Compl. He claims that Google used photographs of him, taken from a Google Droid device in Illinois (in this case his own), to unlawfully create a face scan. Id. ¶¶ 27-29. Google now moves to dismiss Rivera's and Weiss's claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for [**3]  failure to state a claim.4 See R. 48, Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss. For the reasons discussed below, Google's motion to dismiss is denied.

I. Background

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238 F. Supp. 3d 1088 *; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27276 **; 2017 WL 748590

LINDABETH RIVERA and JOSEPH WEISS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. GOOGLE INC., Defendant.

Subsequent History: Summary judgment granted by, Dismissed by Rivera v. Google, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217710 (N.D. Ill., Dec. 29, 2018)

Prior History: Norberg v. Shutterfly, Inc., 152 F. Supp. 3d 1103, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175433 (N.D. Ill., Dec. 29, 2015)

CORE TERMS

biometric, identifier, scan, Privacy, photographs, extraterritorial, geometry, measurements, collected, sentences, templates, private entity, commerce, uploaded, facial, regulation, Internet, capture, stored, fingerprints, allegations, violations, discovery, damages, argues, legislative history, take place, courts, user, motion to dismiss