Vimeo is the latest tech company to get hit with a BIPA lawsuit in Illinois. The lawsuit specifically concerns the video editing app Magisto, which Vimeo acquired earlier this year.
Filed in Cook County by Bradley Acaley, the lawsuit alleges that Magisto does not obtain sufficient consent for its use of facial recognition data. The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) states that any company collecting the biometric data of its users must obtain explicit consent, and must inform users about how long data will be stored and how it can be deleted.
According to Acaley, Magisto failed on all three of those fronts. Though he purchased a one-year subscription, the terms of service did not tell him how to scrub his data, nor did the company state how long that data would remain in its database. The app also created and stored identifying information about non-users – including Acaley’s wife and children – who were unable to provide consent because they were unaware that their images had been submitted to the platform.
Magisto offers easy-to-use video templates that automatically compile photos and other materials that have been submitted by the customer. Whenever the app detects a human presence, it generates a unique face tag and classifies their gender, age, and location. The app then stores that data in the cloud for later use, with matching software that enables Magisto to categorize people based on their facial biometrics.
Of course, Magisto is not the first company to run afoul of BIPA regulations. Facebook, for example, is currently facing a similar lawsuit for failing to obtain sufficient consent before using facial biometrics for tagging purposes, prompting the tech giant to make it easier to opt out of the controversial program.
Source: The Register
September 24, 2019 – by Eric Weiss