Last Thursday, Facebook, Inc. filed a motion to compel arbitration in a consolidated suit lodged by consumers for violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The initial complaint, filed on Aug. 10, 2020, claimed that Facebook illegally collected users’ personally identifying biometric information, and in particular their facial geometry, after they used Instagram, a Facebook-owned social media application, to upload and share photographs.
In January, the consumers filed a consolidated complaint, which Facebook responded to with the instant motion. The social media platform asserted that the three plaintiffs “have filed their claims in the wrong forum.”
As to one of the plaintiffs, a minor female, Facebook argued that applicable law does not allow her to avoid arbitration on the basis of her age. The defendant points to precedent standing for the California law principle that a minor may not “‘accept the benefits of a contract and then seek to void it in an attempt to escape the consequences of a clause that do[es] not suit [her].’”
Finally, according to Facebook, the plaintiffs are not only incorrect about where they must adjudicate their claims, their core contention, that Facebook uses facial recognition to identify people in content uploaded to Instagram is “meritless.” The plaintiffs are represented by Carlson Lynch LLP, Whitfield Bryson LLP, and Greg Coleman Law PC and Facebook by Mayer Brown LLP and Cooley LLP.