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Data Privacy Class Actions and Biometric Legislation: Standing and Certification Issues in Facebook and Google

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss the recent decisions in biometric-capture litigation against Facebook and Google, as well as implications for standing and pre-certification standards under state biometric privacy laws.


Businesses are increasingly using biometric data (such as voiceprints, fingerprints or facial scans) to create digital identities. The use of a digital identity to verify payment information or provide other services encourages market growth for biometric data. Many believe digital identities will replace all forms of paper identification. Accordingly, states are beginning to pass legislation to regulate the gathering, use and storage of such biometric information.

Under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), class actions against Facebook and Google allege privacy breaches due to face-scanning technology. Unlike prior privacy-based actions, the courts granted plaintiffs Article III standing even though neither group claimed any tangible harm from the privacy breach—a requirement for standing under Spokeo. Instead, the judges in both the Facebook and Google actions found that the violation of data privacy was enough to grant standing and move forward with the cases.

Because these rulings granted standing, plaintiffs have a glimpse into the future of privacy class actions. Companies that have business operations in states with biometric data privacy laws will benefit from reviewing and carefully monitoring their biometric data policies. Three states, including Illinois and Texas, have enacted legislation protecting biometric data privacy, and at least five other states have similar proposed bills.

Listen as our panel discusses the Illinois and Texas statutes, examines the class action certification rulings that have taken place in the Facebook and Google cases, and analyzes the implications for potential class action lawsuits both in and outside of the social media arena.



  1. Defining biometric data and privacy concerns
  2. Overview of existing biometric data privacy legislation
  3. Recent biometric class actions
  4. Implications for plaintiffs and companies in the changing landscape of biometric-capture litigation


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What is biometric data and how is it obtained?
  • How is biometric data privacy protected by legislation?
  • How are courts weighing biometric data privacy concerns in class action lawsuits?
  • How can counsel leverage recent class action trends to advise their clients on biometric data privacy issues?


Mossman, Rachel
Rachel Mossman

Shearman & Sterling

Ms. Mossman has represented plaintiffs and defendants in domestic and international disputes at the trial and appellate...  |  Read More

Saikali, Alfred
Alfred J. Saikali

Chair, Privacy and Data Security Practice
Shook Hardy & Bacon

Mr. Saikali represents companies in class action lawsuits arising from data breaches and other data privacy issues. For...  |  Read More

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