Class Action Lawsuit Against Estee Lauder’s Virtual “Try-On” Tool Dismissed, Raises Questions on Biometric Privacy Protection

Chicago, Illinois – A proposed class action lawsuit against Estee Lauder, accusing the beauty company of violating Illinois’ biometric privacy law with its virtual “try-on” tool, has been dismissed by U.S. District Judge Lindsay Jenkins. The lawsuit alleged that Estee Lauder, along with its subsidiary brands like Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, and Too Faced, collected facial scans without obtaining proper consent.

The legal action also involved Perfect Corp, the Taiwanese company responsible for developing the technology behind the virtual try-on tool. Judge Jenkins ruled that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that Estee Lauder could link the collected facial scans to specific individuals. Due to insufficient connections to Illinois, Estee Lauder Corporation was dismissed from the case.

The basis of the lawsuit was the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in Illinois, which allows individuals to sue for mishandling of biometric data. This dismissal highlights the challenges in proving violations of the BIPA, particularly in establishing a direct link between biometric data collection and personal identity concerns.

The complaint against Estee Lauder and Perfect Corp alleged that they violated BIPA’s regulations, which require explicit consent from individuals before collecting their biometric information. The plaintiffs argued that the virtual try-on tool, which allows users to digitally apply makeup and test different products on their own images, collected and stored their facial scans without their knowledge or consent.

Despite the dismissal of the lawsuit, concerns regarding the privacy implications of such virtual try-on tools persist. Critics argue that these technologies have the potential to collect and store sensitive personal data without sufficient safeguards, leaving individuals vulnerable to privacy breaches or misuse of their biometric information.

The case serves as a reminder of the importance of legislation and regulations in safeguarding individuals’ biometric data privacy. As advancements in technology continue to blur the line between virtual and reality, the need for robust legal frameworks to protect individuals’ privacy rights becomes increasingly crucial.

It remains to be seen whether this dismissal will impact the broader discussions surrounding biometric privacy laws and the responsibilities of companies in collecting and handling such data. The outcome of this particular case, however, underscores the challenges individuals face when attempting to hold companies accountable for alleged violations of biometric privacy regulations.