Google is sued for scanning user images in Google Photos; affected users can get up to $400 as compensation

As part of a settlement from a class-action lawsuit, Google agreed to pay Google Photos users in Illinois, U.S., a total of $100 million after it was determined that the tech giant violated the privacy of users of this service through its facial recognition technology.

What is Google accused of?

The class-action lawsuit was filed because affected users alleged that Google violated some Biometric Information Privacy Act provisions, which states that private companies must make a clear privacy policy available to their users before scanning faces, fingerprints, and any other biometric records.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that a default function allowed to scan the faces in the images stored in Google Photos, all thanks to the facial geometric technology implemented by Google: “The company is collecting, storing and using these images actively and without prior notice, either in writing or publishing data retention policies,”  points to the demand.

How to access the compensation?

According to the report, published by NBC Chicago, residents of the state of Illinois who have been affected by Google’s improper practices will be able to request a portion of this settlement, although legal fees and other expenses derived from the trial must still be deducted.

Virtually any Illinois resident is eligible to receive compensation, as the agreement states that users whose images appeared on Google Photos between May 2015 and April 2022 can apply. Each affected person could receive compensation of up to USD 400, although the amount depends on some conditions such as the use of Google Photos and the number of people who wish to file a claim.

The deadline to submit these claims is September 24; interested users can visit the agreement website to learn about the requirements, the process, and more details about it.

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