Target Secretly Collects Illinois Customers’ Face Data, Lawsuit Alleges

Target collecting facial data of customers

The facial data is allegedly collected on ‘state-of-the-art’ surveillance systems, without customers’ permission.

Target has been illegally collecting the biometric information of thousands of Illinois residents who enter its stores, a new lawsuit alleges.

Illinois resident Arnetta Dean filed the proposed class action lawsuit against Target Corporation on March 11 in a Cook County Court, alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act – or BIPA

Dean alleges Target’s stores in Illinois are outfitted with cameras and advanced video surveillance systems that– unbeknownst to customers– surreptitiously collect customer’s facial data without them knowing. 

What is BIPA?

Introduced in Illinois in 2008, BIPA was one of the first laws in the United States to address the growing concerns surrounding biometric data privacy. 

Biometric information refers to unique biological or behavioral characteristics, such as fingerprints, facial scans, or iris or voice patterns, that can be used to identify a person.

One of the key provisions of BIPA is its requirement for companies to obtain “informed consent” from people before collecting their biometric data. This consent must be obtained in writing and detail the specific purpose for which the data will be used. 

Companies are also obligated to develop and maintain written policies outlining their practices for handling biometric information, including guidelines for its retention and eventual destruction.

What do the plaintiffs say Target did wrong?

The proposed class action lawsuit says Target uses a “state-of-the-art” surveillance system on customers without their knowledge.

Dean says the retailer uses an "advanced system of electronic surveillance,” including operating 14 investigation centers as well as two forensic labs to "enhance video footage and analyze finger prints." 

While intending to detect shoplifters, the system also captures customers' faces every time they enter or leave the property, the lawsuit states. 

"Target does not notify customers of this fact prior to store entry, nor does it obtain consent prior to collecting its customers’ Biometric Data," the lawsuit says.

Have other companies faced similar complaints?

In 2021, a California federal judge approved a $650 million class action settlement with Illinois Facebook users, after they alleged the social media giant’s use of facial tagging features without consent was not allowed under BIPA. 

The settlement class included about seven million Facebook users in Illinois for whom the social network created and stored a face template.

Last year, a Chicago federal judge ruled Samsung must pay more than $4 million in filing fees to begin a mass arbitration case brought by 50,000 petitioners alleging their Galaxy devices violated BIPA by using facial recognition technology without consent.

The Target lawsuit seeks $5,000 for "each and every intentional reckless violation" of the law, or damages of $1,000 for any violation found to have been committed negligently, plus fees, costs and a jury trial. 

The plaintiff and the proposed class are represented by Wexler Boley & Elgersma LLP and Israel David LLP.

The Target biometric data privacy class action lawsuit is Dean et al., v. Target Corporation, Case No. 2024CH01892 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.



Illustration of a mobile device getting an email notification
Our Mission at Injury Claims

Injury Claims keeps you informed about lawsuits large and small that could affect your daily life. We simplify the complexities of class actions lawsuits, open class action settlements, mass torts, and individual cases to ensure you understand how these legal matters could impact your rights and interests.

Legal Updates That Matter to You

If you think a recent legal case might affect you, action is required. Select a class action lawsuit or class action settlement, share your details, and connect with a qualified attorney who will explain your legal options and assist in pursuing any compensation due. Take the first step now to secure your rights.