Amazon class action alleges company collected, stored employee data during COVID screenings

Amazon Web Services (AWS) unlawfully collected, used and stored the biometric information of individuals who took part in COVID-19 screenings that involved a face scan done with a Turing Shield device at their places of work, a new class action lawsuit alleges. 

Plaintiff Sandra Trio, who worked at Jewel-Osco as a cake decorator, claims Turing contracted with Amazon to host the biometric data that was collected during the screenings, and for software services including Amazon’s Rekognition image-recognition technology. 

Trio argues Amazon, ultimately, unlawfully collected, stored, obtained and used the biometric data it collected from the Turing facial scans to enhance itself and its “affiliated machine-learning and artificial intelligence technologies.” 

“(Amazon) wrongfully profits from the facial scans it has collected or otherwise obtained through users of Turing AI products by using the biometric data it obtains to improve its machine learning and AI technologies,” the Amazon class action says. 

Trio wants to represent an Illinois class of individuals who used a Turing biometric device and had their facial geometry “collected, captured, received, otherwise obtained, maintained, stored, used, and/or disclosed by Amazon.” 

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Amazon exposes workers to ‘serious and irreversible privacy risks,’ class action says

Amazon’s alleged collection and storage of facial geometry scans exposes workers to “serious and irreversible privacy risks,” such as identity theft and unauthorized tracking — among other things — in the event of a data breach, the Amazon class action alleges. 

“Facial geometry scans are unique, permanent biometric identifiers associated with each user that cannot be changed or replaced if stolen or compromised,” the Amazon class action states. 

Trio claims Amazon is in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). She is demanding a jury trial and requesting declaratory and injunctive relief along with an award of statutory damages for herself and all class members. 

A similar class action lawsuit accusing Amazon of violating BIPA by allegedly unlawfully obtaining the biometric identifiers of customers through facial scans was dismissed by a federal judge in Washington last year. 

The judge determined there was not enough evidence to support the claim that the allegations against Amazon were related to BIPA claims in Illinois. 

Source: Top Class Action