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N.Y. court refuses to dismiss biometric class-action suit against Louis Vuitton

Posted On: Dec. 9, 2022 11:52 AM CST


A federal district court in New York has refused to dismiss a putative class-action lawsuit filed under Illinois’ Biometric Privacy Act against fashion designer Louis Vuitton in connection with its website’s eyeglass “Virtual Try-On” feature.

Illinois residents Paula Theriot and Cheryl Doyle charged that the Paris-based luxury fashion designer, whose U.S. headquarters is in New York, violated the BIPA by collecting customers’ “facial geometry” information via its try-on tool without providing them with a written notice of the collection, its purpose, and its length of time, according to Monday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court in New York in Paula Theriot and Cheryl Doyle v. Louis Vuitton North America Inc.

The court said even though the website’s technology was developed by another company that is not a party to the litigation, “at bottom” the precise roles of kinds of data each company receives “are fact questions to be resolved later in the litigation.”

The court did agree to dismiss a charge that the company had violated BIPA by not having a written biometric policy, ruling the plaintiffs “have failed to allege a particularized harm.”

Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.

In October, a U.S. District Court in Seattle dismissed putative class actions filed by Chicago residents against Microsoft Corp. and Inc., accusing them of violating BIPA, in similar rulings.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, observers are awaiting Illinois Supreme Court rulings as to whether every unauthorized fingerprint scan amounted to a separate violation of the statute, and whether a one- or five-year statute of limitations period for privacy actions applies.