When it comes to biometric scanning, is your face a private part?

February 15, 2019 - 3:15 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Do you consider your face a "private part"?

You don't have a legal right to expect privacy for something that is out in public — like your face, which can be seen when you go outside. 

But facial recognition software finds patterns that can't necessarily be seen by the naked eye — so called biometric information. 

So, is biometric data about your face private or not? Illinois law says it is, and requires companies to get a person's permission before making a biometric scan of their bodies. 

Similarly, a woman sued Google, claiming that whenever photos are uploaded to Google photos, it automatically does a biometric scan without her permission. A federal judge, however, just dismissed her case because she could not show that she was harmed by Google's scan. 

But there are two other cases involving biometric data privacy rights in the courts right now, so this decision may not be the final word on your privacy rights in biometric data.