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Meta Settles Illinois Instagram Class Action Lawsuit for 68.5 Million Over Biometric Privacy Violations

Illinois Instagram Class Action Lawsuit

 

As you might have already seen, Meta (Previously Facebook) often stays in the headlines, and for not-so-good reasons, well, most of the time, right? This time, there was an Illinois Instagram Class Action Lawsuit against them, which is now settled, but let’s go over the critical details of the case. If you haven’t caught up with this case yet then keep on reading.

 

What’s the Deal with BIPA?

Regarding safeguarding your biometric information, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is among the strictest in the United States. But how, and why exactly? Well, you see, this covers items like your fingerprints, information from facial recognition, and other distinctive identifiers. This very act lays down the rules like businesses must disclose their data usage practices in great detail under BIPA. They must obtain your express permission before collecting anything, and they must write to you about how they are gathering and storing it, why they need it, and how long they will keep it. And yes, they cannot, also, profit from or sell your biometric information without your permission.

 

And What’s This Illinois Instagram Class Action Lawsuit All About?

So, a lawsuit alleging that Instagram violated BIPA regulations was filed against the company, which is owned by Meta (previously Facebook). That charge? Well, according to the claims, Instagram was using facial recognition to gather and store user biometric information from pictures and videos without obtaining the necessary permission. From August 10, 2015, to August 16, 2023, is when this reportedly occurred. As per the records though, Meta chose to settle the lawsuit to avoid more court battles even though they denied doing anything improper.

 

The Legal Drama

The lawsuit, known as Parris v. Meta Platforms Inc., was filed in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court for DuPage County, Illinois. And yes, there was no shortage of motions, arguments, and legal documents flying back and forth. It was pure legal drama in the courtroom. The procedure moved closer to a final settlement in July 2023 when Judge Angelo Kappas granted preliminary permission for the deal. While Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman PLLC represented the plaintiffs, Meta was supported by major law firms like Cooley LLP, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and Mayer Brown LLP.

 

Settlement Details

As you can already speculate, Meta did not accept that they had done something wrong, and that’s why they decided to wrap up this lawsuit with a $68.5 million settlement. This fund is for anyone who used Instagram in Illinois between August 10, 2015, and August 16, 2023, but you must be a United States resident for this, particularly from Illinois State. The number of claims filed will determine how much each person receives. The claimants will split the money left over after deducting administrative, legal, and other charges. September 27, 2023, was the claim submission deadline, and October 11, 2023, was the final approval hearing. If everything goes as planned, payouts should start rolling out by January 2024.

 

How to Get Your Share

If you used Instagram in Illinois during the specified period, you could get a slice of the settlement. Just submit the claim form by the cutoff date, including some basic information about yourself and your Instagram use. Though instructions may have been sent to some by email, you can also submit your claim online at the official settlement website. And yes, payouts are available by paper check request, Venmo, Zelle, and Mastercard. And yes, keep in mind, that former Illinois residents who used Instagram during the relevant period can also file claim

Parul
Parul
Parul is an experienced blogger, author and lawyer who also works as an SEO content writer, copywriter and social media enthusiast. She creates compelling legal content that engages readers and improves website visibility. Linkedin

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