Tinder Hit With Privacy Lawsuit Over Verification Selfies

A group of Illinois residents are suing dating app Tinder and its parent company, Match Group, for allegedly violating an Illinois biometric privacy law that restricts companies' ability to compile and retain faceprints.

The lawsuit centers on Tinder's 2-year-old verification program, which grants blue check marks to people who upload video selfies.

After receiving the selfies, Tinder “extracts facial geometries using facial recognition technology to generate a unique number or facial geometry 'template,'” users allege in a class-action complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Illinois residents claim Match Group is violating a state law that requires companies to notify people about biometric data collection, obtain their consent, and publish a schedule for destroying the information.

Companies that run afoul of the law could be liable for up to $5,000 per violation.

“Unlike written passwords or social security numbers --which can be changed or replaced if stolen or compromised --biometrics are unique, permanent biometric identifiers associated with each individual,” they say in their complaint, which was originally brought in state court, and transferred this week to federal court.

They add that they “would not have provided their biometric data to defendants if they had known that defendants would retain such information for an indefinite period of time without their consent.”

The lawsuit is one of numerous cases alleging that tech companies have violated the Illinois privacy law. Other companies to face suits include Facebook, Google, Snap and TikTok.

Facebook agreed to settle a similar class-action complaint for $650 million, while TikTok agreed to a $92 million settlement, and Google resolved the claims for $100 million.

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