Snapchat has agreed to a $35 million deal in a class action lawsuit after it was accused of using lenses and filters to collect the biometric data of users, according to a report from the Independent.
The case was brought up against the photo sharing app in Illinois. While the company has denied any wrongdoing, it has decided to settle out of court instead of letting the case go to trial.
Snapchat has been accused of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act because of its collection of voiceprints and facial geometry scans. The case had been filed in May in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois according to the Independent.
A Snapchat spokesperson told regional news channel NBC5 that the company “continues to vehemently deny that Lenses violates BIPA”. They went on to say, “Snapchat Lenses do not collect biometric data that can be used to identify a specific person, or engage in facial identification.”
People who used the app’s “Lenses” and “Filters” features in Illinois between October 2015 to the present are eligible for a payout.
The payout for people are dependant on how many who submit a claim are approved. They will be paid out of the $35 million pot. In order to qualify for the payment, individuals must submit a claims form by November 5, 2022, which in turn must be approved by a Settlement Administrator.
Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act places a ban on private companies and institutions from collecting an unsuspecting consumer’s biometric data, whether they are in the state or online. Additionally, the Act applies to companies irrespective of where they are based.
Snapchat is far from the only company that has been impacted by the Illinois law. State residents who have used Facebook have begun receiving checks after the social media giant reached a $650 million settlement for collecting and storing digital scans of their faces without permission.