Google LLC has emerged victorious in a long-running court battle. The company was accused of abusing its facial recognition technology in a lawsuit filed back in March 2016. After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the case was dismissed on Saturday by a Chicago court.
Plaintiffs claims Google has violated Illinois state law and was actively gathering and storing biometric data from user photos. The suit stated the company was using Google Photos facial recognition software to collect the data.
U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang threw out the case, saying the suit “lacked subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiffs have not suffered concrete injuries.”
Plaintiffs wanted over $5 million in collective compensation that would be spread across hundreds of thousands of citizens who claimed their rights were violated. $5,000 was sought for each intentional violation of the BIPA law, and $1,000 for any accidental violation.
“Google never informed unwitting non-users who had their face templates collected of the specific purpose and length of term for which their biometric identifiers or information would be collected, stored, and used, nor did Google obtain a written release from any of these individuals,” the plaintiffs claimed
Google's victory could help two other major tech brands that are also accused of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Billed as the toughest biometrics' privacy laws in the country, Illinois residents can sue companies for damages if they think their rights have been breached.
Facebook and Snap face similar suits to Google, with both cases still open before the courts.