Amazon Facing Lawsuit Over Biometric Data Collection

Should Amazon Be Allowed to Collect Biometric Data of Its Customers?

Amazon Facing Lawsuit Over Biometric Data Collection

It has been reported that Amazon is facing a lawsuit over allegations that its Go stores, which operate using a checkout-free system, have been collecting and storing biometric data from shoppers without their consent. The lawsuit claims that the technology used in the stores, which includes cameras and sensors, captures and analyzes facial geometry and other biometric data to identify shoppers and track their movements in the store. The plaintiffs in the case argue that this violates Illinois’ biometric privacy law, which requires companies to obtain written consent from individuals before collecting or storing their biometric information.

The lawsuit against Amazon was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, by a group of individuals who claim that they visited Amazon’s Go stores in Illinois between 2016 and 2021. The plaintiffs allege that during these visits, Amazon collected and stored their biometric data without their consent, which they say violates their privacy rights under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

BIPA is one of the most stringent biometric privacy laws in the United States, and it requires companies to obtain informed consent from individuals before collecting, storing, or sharing their biometric information. The law also requires companies to provide notice to individuals about their biometric data collection practices, and to adopt reasonable security measures to protect this information.

If Amazon is found to have violated BIPA, the company could face significant financial penalties. The law allows for damages of $1,000 for each negligent violation, and $5,000 for each intentional or reckless violation, in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs.

Should Amazon Be Allowed To Collect Biometric Data Of Its Customers
Should Amazon Be Allowed To Collect Biometric Data Of Its Customers

Amazon’s Go stores have been a subject of controversy since they were introduced in 2018. The stores use advanced technologies, including computer vision and machine learning, to track shoppers as they enter and exit the store and automatically charge them for the items they take. The stores have been praised for their convenience, but they have also raised concerns about privacy and surveillance, particularly given Amazon’s history of data collection and use.

The lawsuit against Amazon comes at a time when biometric data collection and use are becoming increasingly common in many industries, including retail, healthcare, and finance. While biometric technologies can offer benefits such as enhanced security and convenience, they also raise concerns about privacy, data security, and the potential for misuse.

In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of companies collecting and storing biometric data without individuals’ consent, leading to lawsuits and regulatory actions. In addition to BIPA in Illinois, several other states have enacted or are considering biometric privacy laws, and there are also federal efforts to regulate biometric data collection and use.

As the use of biometric technologies becomes more widespread, it is likely that there will be more legal challenges and debates about privacy and security issues. Companies that collect and use biometric data will need to be careful to comply with applicable laws and regulations, as well as to adopt strong security measures to protect this sensitive information.

For Amazon, the outcome of the lawsuit will be closely watched by many in the retail industry and beyond. If the company is found to have violated BIPA, it could face significant financial penalties and damage to its reputation. On the other hand, if Amazon is successful in defending its practices, it could set a precedent for other companies to use biometric technologies in their operations.


TechBeams Team of seasoned technology writers with several years of experience in the field. The team has a passion for exploring the latest trends and developments in the tech industry and sharing their insights with readers. With a background in Information Technology. TechBeams Team brings a unique perspective to their writing and is always looking for ways to make complex concepts accessible to a broad audience.

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