The innovative applications of biometric technology continue to expand, bringing a trailblazing option for organizations such as mobile-based access and touchless solutions. As it provides both digital and physical identity verification with less face time with other individuals, it has been a highly preferred tool in the course of COVID-19 and even in post-pandemic time, resulting in a surge in demand.
While every individual can be tracked by biometric technology based on unique physical characteristics, all information is collected and processed by employers and other businesses.
For instance, Google’s Face Grouping feature, similar to Facebook’s Face Tagging feature, automatically extracts facial templates and organizes photos through facial detection and recognition.
Both have violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in terms of gathering biometric data without the user’s consent and lacking a clear data retention policy, subjecting them to a previous suit and an ongoing BIPA case.
Recently, Google has agreed to pay $100 million over alleged violations of BIPA by collecting and utilizing biometric data without appropriate notice.
Though the Tech Giant had previously argued that BIPA does not cover photographs, it has yet carried any weight in the court.
According to a report from FindBiometrics, in light of the settlement, Google has updated its policies, stating that any face models that have been collected will be purged if a Google Photos account has been inactive for two years, or if someone deactivates the Face Grouping function. Any face models pulled from an individual photo will also be scrapped if the account holder chooses to delete that image.
Biometrics elevates both convenience and security, and its use cases will continue to play a significant role across industries and verticals. However, despite the benefits and advantages, several issues still arise concerning data privacy.