Facial Recognition Technology, Biometric Identifiers, and Standing to Litigate Invasions of Digital Privacy
Blake A. Klinkner, J.
In August 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became the first appellate court in the United States to declare that a social media website’s use of facial recognition software to identify and track individuals may violate the individuals’ privacy interests and provide the individuals with standing to sue over their rights to privacy. As individuals grapple with ways to protect online privacy and curb perceived abuses of privacy by tech giants, the Ninth Circuit’s opinion may open the door for individuals to seek vindication of their rights to privacy through the filing of tort actions across the country.
Patel v. Facebook, Inc., the plaintiffs filed a
class action lawsuit against Facebook alleging that Facebook
violated provision of the Illinois Biometric Information
Privacy Act (“BIPA”) which prohibits a party from
collecting, storing, and using biometric identifiers for an
individual without first obtaining a written release for the
biometric identifier and without establishing a retention
schedule that requires the permanent destruction of the