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Google to pay residents $100 million over privacy violation

Individuals can file a claim over Google’s misuse of their photos to take a chunk of the settlement the tech giant opted to pay.

Illinois residents who appeared in a photograph on Google Photos within the last seven years may receive money from Google.

The tech giant settled a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company violated Illinois law by collecting and storing biometric data of individuals without their proper notice and consent.

The class-action lawsuit was filed over Google’s alleged violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The law requires businesses to get users’ consent before using their biometric data.

According to the Plaintiffs, Google ‘violated BIPA by obtaining, collecting, and storing, without adequate prior notice and consent, Illinois residents’ biometrics, which Google allegedly used to group photographs of similar faces that have been uploaded by the same Google Photos user, a feature called Face Grouping.’

The website representing the people behind the class actions claims that anyone who is an Illinois resident and, at any time between May 1, 2015, and April 25, 2022, appeared in a photograph in Google Photos, is eligible for a payout.

It is estimated that a valid claim might net the receivers between $200 and $400, depending on the claim itself. Anyone can submit a claim to qualify for a payment.

“The Action has not gone to trial and the Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Google. Instead, the Plaintiffs and Google have agreed to settle the Action. That way, both sides avoid the cost and risks of trial, and Class Members will get Settlement benefits now rather than years from now, if at all,” reads a website representing the Plaintiffs.

According to the settlement documents, Google denies any wrongdoing and denies all the claims by Plaintiff. However, Google committed to deleting face templates or face models associated with Google Photos user’s accounts.

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