If you are a Snapchat user from Illinois, you might have heard about a class action settlement involving the app’s facial recognition features.
The settlement, known as Boone vs Snap, was finalized in November 2022. The settlement resulted in a $35 million payout to the eligible claimants.
In this article, we will recap everything you need to know about the Snapchat settlement a.k.a. Boone vs Snap lawsuit.
What was the Snapchat Settlement?
The Snapchat settlement was the result of a lawsuit filed by a group of Illinois residents against Snapchat. The lawsuit alleged that Snapchat violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting and using users’ facial information without consent.
BIPA is a state law that regulates how companies can collect, store, and use biometric data. BIPA requires companies to obtain written consent from users before collecting their data.
At first, Snapchat denied any wrongdoing and argued that its features involve not biometrics but computer vision and machine learning. However, they agreed to settle the case for $35 million to avoid the cost and risk of litigation.
Who was Eligible for the Snapchat Settlement?
The Snapchat settlement covered all Illinois residents who used Snapchat’s Lenses or Filter features after November 17, 2015. Whoever fell into this category was eligible to receive a payment from the settlement fund.
However, not all class members received the same amount of money. The amount of the payment depended on the number of claims filed however, it was estimated to be around $16 per claimant.
Can I File a Claim for the Snapchat Settlement Right Now?
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do now to receive a payment from the settlement fund. The settlement is closed as of November 5, 2022, which was the deadline to file a claim. The final approval hearing was held on November 17, 2022. And the settlement was approved by the judge on November 23, 2022.
However, if you did not file a claim or opt out of the Snapchat Illinois lawsuit, you have to obey the terms of the settlement and cannot sue Snapchat for the same claims.
How Did the Boone vs Snap Lawsuit Affect the Users?
The Boone vs Snap lawsuit affected the users in different ways, depending on whether they participated in the settlement, opted out, or objected.
- Participated: Participants in the Snap settlement received money and gave up the right to sue. They also benefited from changes to the app. Such as getting clear information about its features and agreeing to use them before they’re applied.
- Opted out: Opting out of the settlement means not receiving money, but keeping the right to sue.
- Objected: Objecting to the settlement means still receiving money, but expressing disagreement with some part of the settlement.
A Reddit user stated that he signed up for the Snapchat class action lawsuit and got a virtual prepaid MasterCard worth $16.35.
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What Does the Boone vs Snap Mean for the Future of Biometric Privacy?
The Boone vs Snap lawsuit shows that biometric privacy is a serious and growing concern for consumers. It also sets a precedent for other companies that use similar features or technologies and may face similar lawsuits in the future.
Resulting that, companies need to be more transparent and responsible about how they collect and use biometric data. It also shows that BIPA is a powerful and effective law for protecting biometric privacy and that other countries might make similar laws.
Now it is clear that the Boone vs Snap is a landmark case for the app’s users. It resulted in a series of changes to the app’s features and policies.
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