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Oral-B Toothbrushing App Use of Biometrics Illinois BIPA Class Action

Taking and storing biometrics is no longer rare in our society. Many people have already had to provide a fingerprint, for example, for timekeeping purposes, but the practice has lately been growing with facial geometry scans to allow online consumers to try on makeup, hair color, or glasses. This class action brings suit against the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) for the collection of biometrics for its Oral-B Smartphone App. The complaint alleges that the company collected, stored, and used biometric information from Illinois users without fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The class for this action is all individuals whose biometrics were collected, stored, used, or transferred by or on behalf of P&G within Illinois at any time within the applicable statute of limitations period.

The P&G app uses “position detection technology” with smartphone cameras to take facial geometry scans and determine how the user’s toothbrush is positioned in the mouth. The complaint describes it this way: “The App, coupled with the Bluetooth[-]enabled smart toothbrush, identifies the ‘zone’ of the user’s mouth that is being brushed. [P&G] then users this facial geometry data and proprietary software to analyze App users’ toothbrushing during and after the time users are brushing.”

This enables users “to track their brushing, receive real-time feedback pertaining to the effectiveness of their toothbrushing technique in specific zones of their mouth, and to view after-brushing reports.”

What’s the problem with that? The problem is that biometrics, like facial scans, are not like other private information, such as credit card numbers. If a credit card number is stolen, the card can be canceled and a new card issued, with a different number. If fingerprints are stolen, the person cannot get a new set of fingers with different fingerprints.

Illinois passed BIPA to establish certain basic requirements for private businesses that wish to take, store, or use biometrics:

  • They must tell subjects in writing that their biometrics are to be collected and stored.
  • They must tell subjects in writing of the purpose and length of time their biometrics will be stored and used.
  • They must get a written release from the subjects.
  • They must put out publicly-available guidelines for permanently destroying the information.
  • They must get the subjects’ permission for sharing the information with third parties.

The complaint alleges that P&G did not fulfill these requirements with its biometric collection subjects, that is, the users of the app.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Oral-B Toothbrushing App Use of Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint

October 26, 2021

Taking and storing biometrics is no longer rare in our society. Many people have already had to provide a fingerprint, for example, for timekeeping purposes, but the practice has lately been growing with facial geometry scans to allow online consumers to try on makeup, hair color, or glasses. This class action brings suit against the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) for the collection of biometrics for its Oral-B Smartphone App. The complaint alleges that the company collected, stored, and used biometric information from Illinois users without fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Oral-B Toothbrushing App Use of Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

Oral-B Toothbrushing App Use of Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint

October 26, 2021

Taking and storing biometrics is no longer rare in our society. Many people have already had to provide a fingerprint, for example, for timekeeping purposes, but the practice has lately been growing with facial geometry scans to allow online consumers to try on makeup, hair color, or glasses. This class action brings suit against the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) for the collection of biometrics for its Oral-B Smartphone App. The complaint alleges that the company collected, stored, and used biometric information from Illinois users without fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Oral-B Toothbrushing App Use of Biometrics Illinois BIPA Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy