Shutterfly Class Action Settlement Over BIPA Issues, Reaches Final Approval
A class of Illinois individuals who claimed that Shutterfly, Inc. illegally gathered and maintained their biometric data without their consent, in violation of Illinois BIPA privacy law, have reached a $6.75 million settlement.
Vernita Miracle-Pond & Samantha Paraf v. Shutterfly, Inc. Recap
Vernita Miracle-Pond and Samantha Paraf, the lead plaintiffs, sued Shutterfly in Illinois state court, alleging that the company uses facial recognition technology to gather and store biometric information of anybody appearing in an image uploaded to its platform.
In June 2019, the class action lawsuit was filed at Cook County Circuit Court but was eventually removed to federal court. After reaching a settlement agreement, both parties decided to return the case to state court.
The Shutterfly BIPA settlement funds will be distributed to a Class comprising 955,000 Illinois consumers who appeared in a Shutterfly photograph from July 2014 and to date.
Shutterfly Violated Illinois’ BIPA
In their lawsuit, Miracle-Pond and Paraf claim that Shutterfly violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by omitting that it was collecting their biometric information or declaring its data destruction and storage plans for the material.
In prior claims, Shutterfly bragged about its capacity to identify people in photographs via its “advanced image analysis,” as well as “photo-ranking algorithms,” the class action lawsuit said.
As reported by Miracle-Pond and Paraf, Shutterfly claimed that the technology would make it much easier for individuals to tag family and friends in photos by obtaining a geometry scan of an individual’s face. However, they claimed that their biometric data was taken without their permission after an image of them was uploaded to Shutterfly’s website.
By determining that images do not fall under the scope of biometric identifiers in BIPA, the court rejected Shutterfly’s assertion that BIPA does not apply to them.
This month, an identical class action lawsuit was lodged against Google stating that the firm violated the BIPA by taking and keeping images of people’s faces without consumers’ consent.
About Class Members
How to know whether you are qualified to join the Shutterfly BIPA Class Action Settlement?
- You are a resident of the state of Illinois;
- Your photo appeared on Shutterfly’s system between the dates of 11th July 2014 up to the final date of the settlement agreement’s approval on 8th September 2021; and,
- You have received a notice from Shutterfly via snail mail or email.
The final date to submit the claim was 14th September and to exclude from the settlement was 16th August.
About The Company
Shutterfly LLC, or simply referred to as Shutterfly in this feature, is a photography and image sharing company founded in 1999. Hilary A. Schneider currently heads the company as its CEO when she ascended to the position in 2020. Accordion to publicly accessible records, Shutterfly’s revenues amounted to approximately $2 billion in 2018.
Editor’s Note on Shutterfly BIPA Settlement 2021:
This feature article discusses the latest settlement agreement between Shutterfly and one of its legal challengers Vernita Miracle-Pond who decided to sue them to court for allegedly violating Illinois’ BIPA. We also suggest you the Mc Donald’s BIPA Lawsuit 2021.
Case Name(s) & No.: Vernita Miracle-Pond, et al. v. Shutterfly Inc.; Case No.: 2019-CH-07050
Jurisdiction: Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
Products/Services Involved: Shutterfly’s Illinois’s Users’ Privacy
Allegation(s): Shutterfly violated Illinois law after they collected and stored users’ photographic data without asking for their prior consent.
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