Deadline to file claim in Illinois Google lawsuit settlement is this weekend – NBC Chicago

Time is running out for eligible Illinois residents to submit their claims in a multimillion-dollar class action settlement involving tech giant Google.

The lawsuit claimed that the company violated Illinois’ biometric information privacy law by “collecting and storing biometric data from individuals who, while residing in Illinois, appeared in a photograph of the photo sharing and storage service known as Google Photos, without proper notice or consent.”

Similar settlements have been reached with other companies, including Facebook, with the social media company paying the plaintiffs nearly $400 each.

A settlement agreement was reached in the case earlier this year and now eligible residents can file their claims. Google did not respond to NBC 5’s request for comment, but admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement agreement and denied all claims made in the lawsuit.

So how much could eligible residents receive and when? Here’s what to know if you’re considering filing a claim:

Who is eligible?

According to the settlement’s website, residents are eligible “if at any time between May 1, 2015 and April 25, 2022 you appeared in a photo in Google Photos while a resident of Illinois.”

When can I submit a claim and what is the deadline?

Eligible residents can submit a claim until September 24. All claims must be submitted by this date to be eligible for payment.

For those who wish to object or opt out of the settlement, that deadline was August 10.

A final approval hearing is scheduled for September 28.

How do I submit my complaint?

Those wishing to submit a complaint may do so here.

How much money could I get?

Those eligible will receive a portion of the $100 million settlement fund, after deducting legal costs, fees and expenses. But how much each person will receive remains unclear.

“No one knows in advance the amount of each valid claim payment until the deadline for submission of claims passes and the Court awards the award of costs and expenses and service payments,” says the settlement website. “Each class member who submits a valid claim will receive an equal proportionate share of the net settlement fund.”

The attorneys in the case estimate, based on their experience and similar cases, that each claim could be worth between $200 and $400.

When will I receive my payment?

If final approval is granted and any potential appeal process is completed, eligible participants could receive their payouts within 90 days. The final approval hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. on September 28.

Lawyers warn, however, that even if the court approves the settlement, there may still be appeals in the case.

“It is always uncertain if and when appeals can be resolved, and resolving them may take time,” the website says.

What is the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Law?

Illinois Biometric Privacy Law prohibits private sector companies and institutions from collecting biometric data from unsuspecting citizens in the state or online, regardless of where the company is based. Data cannot be sold, transferred or exchanged. Unlike any other state, citizens can sue for alleged violations, which has sparked hundreds of David and Goliath legal battles against some of the world’s most powerful corporations.

If a company is found to have violated Illinois law, citizens can collect civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, compounded by the number of people affected and the days involved. No state regulatory agency is involved in enforcement.

Since BIPA is an Illinois law, it only applies to residents of the state.

What other companies are accused of violating Illinois law?

So far, no company associated with lawsuits surrounding the law has admitted wrongdoing, though many have agreed to settlements.

Most recently, an Illinois federal judge granted final approval for a $92 million class action settlement between social media network TikTok and users of the platform, with Illinois residents to receive the largest part of the payment due to BIPA.

A class action lawsuit has also been filed against Snapchat’s parent company, accusing the social network of breaking the law. A $35 million settlement was recently announced in the case, although a final approval hearing has yet to take place.

Earlier this year, more than one million Facebook users in Illinois began receiving checks following a $650 million class action settlement alleging it violated the rights of residents by collecting and storing digital scans of their faces without permission.

Microsoft and Amazon are also among the companies accused of violations.

NBC Chicago

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