Date: July 8, 2021

By: Prime Law Group, LLC

Apple Biometric Lawsuit in Illinois

The company Apple has been hit with an Illinois state court lawsuit. The issue that has risen comes from Apple’s features like touch ID and face ID. Face ID and touch ID both track biometrics and this was not known by many. “Lead plaintiffs and Illinois residents David Barnett, Ethel Burr and Michael Henderson allege that Apple has extracted their biometric information for those features, which use fingerprint and facial recognition technology as a means of authentication, without first obtaining their written permission, as required by the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.” -Law360

Face ID & Touch ID

More likely than not, you are probably aware of these features. However, if you are not, they can be easily defined. Face ID scans your face in order to open your phone or tablet. In the same vein, touch ID, use your fingerprint to unlock devices. Both these features that Apple has created are very convenient for their consumers. However, Apple was not fully transparent with their customers in regard to these features. 

Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

Also known as BIPA, ensures that people are in control of their own biometric data. In addition, BIPA does not allow private companies to collect this data unless they meet certain guidelines. Therefore, in order for companies to share this data they must inform the person in writing that their data is being collected. They must also in writing, make the person aware of the purposes for collecting and using their data. Lastly, they must have written consent of the person involved.


The plaintiffs involved “seek statutory damages of $5,000 for every willful violation of BIPA or $1,000 for each violation if the court determines the violations were negligent.” In addition to this lawsuit, Apple faces another lawsuit in Illinois federal court. The federal lawsuit involves Apple’s photos app. The app cannot be uninstalled and similarly to this case, have been collecting facial biometric data.