Baker v. Match Group, Inc., et al.
Case No. 1:22-cv-06924
A class action complaint against Match Group, Inc., which owns numerous dating apps including Tinder and Hinge, was recently removed from the Cook County Circuit Court to the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint alleges the company violated the privacy requirements under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”).
The primary practice at issue is that Match Group, which at times requires photos to be uploaded, scans the uploaded images for biometric information after being uploaded. The complaint alleges that this practice is not disclosed at all to consumers.
Prior to being removed to federal court, there has already been extensive history of the case, including claims in small claims court. The first issue addressed in the federal complaint is that the defendant waived the arbitration provision, by first attempting to proceed in small claims court. When the defendant was in small claims court, it also sought administrative closure of all claims in arbitration.
The first two counts, under BIPA, seek injunctive and equitable relief; statutory damages of $5,000 for an intentional violation of BIPA, or $1,000 for a negligent violation; and reasonable attorney fees and costs. The non-BIPA element is count three, which alleges Breach of Covenant of Good Faith & Fair Dealing.
This case and its 1500 pages of exhibits now incorporated, has the potential to provide users of the apps a significant sum of money, similar to the Facebook, TikTok, or other settlements that have taken place. Of course the outcome of any sort of class action can be up in the air as it works its way through the system. Nonetheless, this is yet another example of a company finding itself in court and who is potentially subject to millions in damages, all for violating the Illinois privacy act which is really the only legislation of its kind in the country. BIPA litigation is not going away anytime soon.