Snapchat Hit With Lawsuit That Accuses Firm Of Violating Privacy By Scanning Users’ Faces Through Its Lenses App

Snapchat has recently been accused of violating a privacy-based law in Illinois that’s related to biometrics.

The new lawsuit has put the firm’s Lenses app in the spotlight stating in bold terms how it violated privacy guidelines laid out in the law.

The lawsuit was said to have been filed late last week by residents hailed from Illinois and their names were recently disclosed as Maribel Ocampo and another user by the name of Adrian Coss.

Both users have accused the social networking app of scanning users’ faces through that special effects Lenses feature. Moreover, the duo has even gone as far as mentioning how their actions are in strict violation of the current Privacy Information Law of Illinois that prohibits companies from engaging in such behavior without providing written consent from users that agree to such practices.

The law is known to delineate that any formation relating to a person’s biodata cannot be randomly collected and face scans are included. This particular Act had been passed way back in 2008 and entails a detailed argument about how companies are liable to punishment if they fail to take users under their wing about biodata collection. Similarly, the clauses include publishing a timeline regarding how the company would destroy any information or details that it happened to collect.

In situations where firms fail to oblige by the law, they must pay out $5000 for every violation that they’re engaged in. And while Snapchat is yet to send our replies to leading news agencies covering the story, many feel the app may have landed itself in hot water.

It must be noted that this is certainly not the first time that the app has faced some concerns regarding the protection of user privacy. In the past, we’ve seen the app argue thoughtfully how the party that actually put out the lawsuit had actually decided to solve the matter privately.

These arbitration clauses are delineated in the firm’s ‘terms of service’ but both accusers, in this case, have not chosen to go down that route.

On the other hand, Snapchat is certainly not the only app that we’re seeing facing violations regarding the privacy law of Illinois. For instance, both tech giants Microsoft, as well as Amazon, have been sued by numerous places who accuse them of acquiring faceprints from citizens.

Both of these organizations had taken up an IBM database comprising of faceprints that included images by Flickr. This particular database comprises more than 100 million faceprints that were transported by the popular picture-sharing app.

Similarly, we’ve also witnessed Meta’s Facebook be the center of public attention after it had reportedly been accused through another lawsuit that was based on a similar privacy law from Illinois. But to settle that out, the company was forced to pay a staggering value of $650 million. However, the company’s woes don’t end there as they’re continuously being called out for litigation for failing to put out a written policy that relates to retaining users’ biometric data.

Hence, it’s safe to say that Snapchat is not the only one.


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