Harrah’s Casino is facing a class-action lawsuit which may not bode well for it if they lose the case. The Casino which is located in Joliet, Illinois is fighting to use facial recognition technology as some say it’s against an individual’s rights to privacy.
The lawsuit the casino is facing will most likely make its way to the Supreme Court as several appeals will be made my both parties before it’s settled. This move will cost the casino, and its parent company Caesars Entertainment a lot, in time and money when it’s finally over.
According to a report by Patch, the lawsuit was filed by Anthony Adams and Leon Martin before bringing in other clients who patronized the casino. The plaintiffs argue that Harrah’s Casino’s use of facial recognition violates the BIPA Act of 2008 (Biometric Information Privacy) in Illinois.
They say this because the implementation of the technology started
“without creating and following a written policy, made available to the public.”
Both Adams and Martin are regulars at the casino and are also members of Caesars’ rewards program.
The lawsuit was presented and prepared by Douglas Werman, an attorney from Chicago in conjunction with two other attorneys from New York, Dana Cimera and Joseph A. Fitapelli. If they win the case, Harrah’s and Caesars would have to dole out monetary or liquidated compensation, whichever is higher, for every violation of the Biometric Information Privacy that took place.
The suit alleges that;
“Defendants use facial recognition technology with their video security cameras at their Illinois casinos. Defendants’ facial recognition technology identifies a person by scanning the geometry of a person’s facial features and comparing that scan against databases of stored facial geometry templates.”
According to the plaintiffs, the use of facial recognition should not be allowed for two reasons. Firstly, as required by law, Harrah’s did not tell its customers that it was collating biometric data in writing, neither did they seek their customers consent. Secondly, the casino never came up with a written policy on how it would retain or use the data collected.
In theory, the implementation of biometric surveillance is not a bad thing. It becomes a problem if state laws are not followed to the letter. At no point in time did Harrah’s make it known that they were using the technology.
According to reports, the company has been spying on its customers for years. The plaintiffs stated that, due to how long the company has been using the technology, thousands of customers could also join in the lawsuit.
According to them;
“Unlike other companies in Illinois, defendants failed to take notice and follow the requirements of the Biometric Information Privacy Act, even though the law was enacted in 2008 and numerous articles and court filings were published about the law’s requirement before defendants committed the violations alleged in this complaint. As a result, defendants’ violations of the Biometric Information Privacy Act were reckless, or in the alternative, negligent.”
The case will be heard in the Will County courtroom very soon. However, just as we’ve stated earlier, the case could be dragged all the way to the Supreme Court before it’s resolved.