Understanding BIPA Virtual Try-On Class Action Lawsuits
With more and more online and brick-and-mortar retailers offering virtual try-on experiences, the consumers are offered better opportunities for finding their perfect fit before purchasing. But this trend also has certain potential downsides. Especially when it comes to the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
In recent times several different companies have been facing class action lawsuits pertaining to the misuse of their customers’ biometric data in virtual try-on experiences. This has led to an increase in public awareness, and fueled an interest in better personal privacy laws and policies across the country.
In this article we will go over all you need to know about this subject, in order to safeguard your personal information in the best way possible, and also gain an understanding of what your options are, if you suspect you might have been subjected to unfair practices in terms of BIPA.
BIPA and Virtual Try-On
One common method of making virtual try-on experience possible is by companies accessing facial recognition features, or using other biometric data from their consumers, in order to create an augmented reality experience that showcases the products.
In practice this might be by using the webcam of a potential customer, in order to virtually show a necklace or pair of sunglasses overlaid with an image of the customer’s portrait. It might also be in the form of customers inputting their personal information, such as gender, height, body type and other information, in order for the virtual try-on system to show the best fitting products.
While this allows customers an easy way to see if the product they consider would look good on them, it raises questions when it comes to BIPA compliance. This is because BIPA requires companies to obtain written consent or provide an adequate notice when they collect and or use biometric data in these virtual try-on features. And failing to do so can open the company up for potential class action lawsuits.
Compared with a normal lawsuit, class action lawsuits are composed of multiple plaintiffs, sometimes numbering well into the hundreds, all of which have been potential victims of poor data management from the company in question.
Generally, these allegations revolve around the fact that the company did not ask for consent before using or storing this data, but can also be about data breaches and other similar areas of data protection.
Regardless of the exact reason for the class action lawsuit, these cases are often more successful than individual lawsuits, since the plaintiffs can pool their resources and obtain better legal counsel, can argue their case better with more evidence, and in general use each other as support during litigation.
Protecting Your Privacy Rights
If you suspect that your privacy rights have been violated when it comes to BIPA and virtual try-on experiences, you might want to consider going the legal route to ensure justice is served.
In that case you can research whether there are any ongoing cases against the company in question, in which case you might be able to join as a member.
At Shamis & Gentile, P.A. We are always ready to discuss your opportunities, and offer expert advice and guidance. Whether you are looking at joining a class action lawsuit, or just exploring your options, we would love to hear from you. So contact us today and protect your rights to privacy!