Amazon Connect, Pindrop Taking of Voiceprints Wisconsin BIPA Class Action

Recently, cases have been filed against companies like Instagram and Facebook for collecting scans from users’ photos for the development of facial recognition technology. This case brings suit against Amazon Web Services, Inc. and Pindrop Security, Inc. for collecting customer voiceprints—another form of biometric information—in violation of Illinois law.

The class for this action is all Illinois citizens who made at least one call to, or received at least one call from, an entity that uses Amazon Connect and Pindrop’s voice authentication or fraud detection technology, between December 17, 2014 and the present.

The complaint alleges that the companies have been “collecting, possessing, redisclosing, profiting from, and failing to safeguard … biometric identifiers and biometric information” in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

How did the companies collect the voiceprints? It claims that “individuals who made … phone calls to or received … phone calls from call centers, customer service representatives and/or other entities using services offered by Amazon Web Services, Inc. … had their unique biometric voice prints collected, possessed, and used by [the companies] without their consent or authorization, including through the use of Pindrop’s biometric voice authentication technology.”

Biometric information represents an unusual risk to individuals as biometric cannot be changed. While a person can cancel a credit card and ask for a new one, fingerprints are for life.

Things like fingerprints, palm or retina scans, and voiceprints are considered biometric identifiers under BIPA. BIPA imposes requirements on private entities who want to collect biometrics from people in Illinois:

  • They must tell the subject in writing that their information is being collected.
  • They must tell the subject of the purpose of collection and the length of time it will be collected and stored.
  • They must get a written release from the subject.

BIPA also requires that such private entities must have a publicly-available, written policy that specifies how long information will be retained and guidelines for its permanent destruction.

Private entities are also not permitted to profit from biometric information.

The complaint alleges that the companies have violated these requirements, even to the point of profiting from the voiceprints by offering voiceprint authentication services in conjunction with Amazon Connect or Pindrop’s services.

It also claims that the companies “fail to apply the industry standard of care in storing, transmitting, and protecting from disclosure biometric data” and that they do not apply an equal or higher standard of care than they use to protect other confidential information, such as health records.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Amazon Connect, Pindrop Taking of Voiceprints Wisconsin BIPA Complaint

October 16, 2020

Recently, cases have been filed against companies like Instagram and Facebook for collecting scans from users’ photos for the development of facial recognition technology. This case brings suit against Amazon Web Services, Inc. and Pindrop Security, Inc. for collecting customer voiceprints—another form of biometric information—in violation of Illinois law.

Amazon Connect, Pindrop Taking of Voiceprints Wisconsin BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

Amazon Connect, Pindrop Taking of Voiceprints Wisconsin BIPA Complaint

October 16, 2020

Recently, cases have been filed against companies like Instagram and Facebook for collecting scans from users’ photos for the development of facial recognition technology. This case brings suit against Amazon Web Services, Inc. and Pindrop Security, Inc. for collecting customer voiceprints—another form of biometric information—in violation of Illinois law.

Amazon Connect, Pindrop Taking of Voiceprints Wisconsin BIPA Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Biometric Data, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy