Walgreens fails to gain customer facial recognition consent

Occurred: October 2020

US pharmacy chain Walgreens has been accused of unlawfully collecting and storing photographs of customers’ faces using cameras equipped with facial recognition technology. 

Defendant Leroy Jacobs argued in a class-action lawsuit (pdf) that Walgreens failed to disclose to customers that images of their faces were being collected and stored without their consent, despite being required to do so under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Walgreens’ biometric data collection practices exposed customers to a heightened risk of identity theft and fraud given biometric identifiers cannot be changed if compromised, the suit argues. 

Operator: Walgreens

Country: USA

Sector: Retail

Purpose: Identify shoplifters

Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy; Security

Transparency: Privacy