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Align Technology App SmileView Collects Biometrics Illinois BIPA Class Action

Align Technology, Inc. offers teeth-straightening products. Its mobile app has a feature called SmileView that allows users to see what they would look like with straighter teeth. But the app requires that Align map the user’s facial geometry in order to show the after-straightening view. The complaint alleges that Align makes scans of facial geometry of users in Illinois without fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The class for this action is all individuals in Illinois whose biometric data Align Technology collected, captured, stored, disseminated, transmitted, or otherwise used during the applicable statute of limitations period.

The complaint provides a couple definitions related to this case. It says that a “biometric identifier is “any personal feature that is unique to an individual, including handprints, iris scans, DNA, and ‘face geometry,’ among others.” It says that “biometric information” consists of “any information captured, converted, stored or shared based on a person’s biometric identifier used to identify an individual.”

In order to attract customers, Align offers an app that allows consumers to get a preview of how they would look if they used its teeth-straightening products. Referring to an article on TechRepublic.com, the complaint alleges, “SmileView works by requiring users to take a ‘selfie’ photo and then, using facial recognition technology, SmileView generates a preview of the user’s fact after teeth-straightening treatment.”

According to the complaint, “[f]acial recognition technology measures the physiological characteristics of a human face.” In the process of doing this, the complaint claims, Align collects, uses, and stores the person’s biometrics.

BIPA went into effect in 2008. It requires that a company that wants to collect, store, or use a person’s biometrics do certain things:

  • It must inform them, in writing, that their biometrics are being collected, used, or stored.
  • It must inform them of the purpose for this collection, use, and/or storage.
  • It must get their consent in writing.
  • It must provide a publicly-available schedule for the retention and permanent destruction of the biometric information.

The complaint alleges that Align has done none of these things for users of its SmileView feature in Illinois.

The complaint alleges, “To the extent [Align] is still retaining Plaintiff’s biometrics, such retention is unlawful and an ongoing infringement of her right to privacy as afforded by the BIPA.”

According to the complaint, “BIPA provides for statutory damages of $5,000 for each willful and/or reckless violation and, alternatively, damages of $1,000 for each negligent violation.”

The sole count in this case is violation of BIPA.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Align Technology App SmileView Collects Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint

April 8, 2022

Align Technology, Inc. offers teeth-straightening products. Its mobile app has a feature called SmileView that allows users to see what they would look like with straighter teeth. But the app requires that Align map the user’s facial geometry in order to show the after-straightening view. The complaint alleges that Align makes scans of facial geometry of users in Illinois without fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Align Technology App SmileView Collects Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

Align Technology App SmileView Collects Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint

April 8, 2022

Align Technology, Inc. offers teeth-straightening products. Its mobile app has a feature called SmileView that allows users to see what they would look like with straighter teeth. But the app requires that Align map the user’s facial geometry in order to show the after-straightening view. The complaint alleges that Align makes scans of facial geometry of users in Illinois without fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Align Technology App SmileView Collects Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy