Amazon Voiceprint Lawsuit Claims Privacy Violations
Amazon Web Services is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Illinois data privacy law with its voiceprint technology for customer service centers.
The class action lawsuit claims that the company profits from the use of unique voiceprints housed on servers. The voiceprints are taken without the consent of consumers in clear violation of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). These voiceprints were used in place of traditional personal identification numbers of consumers to access their John Hancock financial accounts.
Read about the case under the name: McGoveran, et al. v. Amazon Web Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-01399-UNA, D.C. DE.
Are you affected by the allegations in this class action lawsuit? Contact us today for help.
BIPA on Privacy
John Hancock provides customer service to consumers of Amazon Web Services under the brand Amazon Connect.
According to the class action lawsuit, Amazon Connect uses a software program called Pindrop that takes a person’s voiceprint and uses it to “create a distinctive identifier for each caller.” Pindrop works by “extracting . . . intelligence from every call encountered,” matching “callers, based on their voice biometrics, with other personally identifiable information, including location” to “authenticate callers.”
The technology makes it easier to gain access, however, the company has failed to meet the key requirements of BIPA.
The lawsuit alleges that Amazon Web Services has failed to obtain consent from their consumers for the collection of their voiceprints as well as inform them in writing that these are being stored.
The company has also failed to alert consumers in writing of the purpose of the collection of the voiceprints and the length of time that they are being stored.
Consumers were also not informed of Amazon Web Services’ policy on the destruction of that data.
The lawsuit asserts that BIPA requires private entities “in possession of biometric data to actually destroy biometric data pursuant to its policies,” and further contends that the act “forbids any private entity in possession of a biometric identifier or biometric information from “profit[ing]” from that data.”
Amazon Web Services profits from the voiceprints collected by Pindrop “by selling Pindrop’s biometric data analysis and software as a service,” bringing in revenue collecting and storing voiceprints.
Furthermore, the “cloud-based” nature of Pindrops’ servers “disclose, redisclose, and disseminate” the collected voiceprints, violating BIPA regulations.
Consumers are concerned that the “stolen biometric identifiers . . . can be used to impersonate consumers,” and that the “unique and permanent biometric identifiers, once exposed, leave victims with no means to prevent identity theft and unauthorized tracking,” saying that these voiceprints and face IDs and other biometric data are not like passwords or PINs that can be easily changed.
Editor’s note on the Amazon Voiceprint Class Action Lawsuit:
This piece is written about the recent Amazon Voiceprint Lawsuit. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.
If you believe that what is alleged in the Amazon Web Services’ Voiceprint Tech class action lawsuit has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join the consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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