Two Illinois children have launched a lawsuit against Google for allegedly collecting biometric data from millions of students. The children — known only as H.K. and J.C. — decided to sue Google with the help of their father, Clinton Farwell.
According to CNET, the children filed the class-action lawsuit Thursday, April 2, in a federal court in San Jose, California. Google provides school districts across the US with Chromebooks and free access to G Suite for Education apps like Gmail, Calendar, and Google Docs. H.K. and J.C. claim the company uses these services to create biometric face templates and “voiceprints” of children without their parents’ consent.
The lawsuit asserts this violates Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and the federal government’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). BIPA regulates facial recognition, fingerprinting, and other biometric technologies in Illinois, and COPPA requires websites to obtain parental consent when collecting personal information from children 13 years old and younger in the US.
The children are suing Google for damages of $1,000 for each member of the class for BIPA violations Google committed unknowingly and $5,000 each for every offense committed “intentionally or recklessly.”
Google has yet to release an official statement on the matter.