28 thoughts on “Ben Swann ON: Judge Rules That Google Can Collect Biometric Data Without Consent”
  1. Does the gov. OWN you ? Do they own your body / labor. If not…then a third party ( judge ) cannot allow it either. But the people believe their are slaves…or at least they act like it/

  2. Since when is judges ruling contrary to the law some kind of surprise? Have you been in court recently? It is a piracy and racketeering enterprise. Law, especially Constitutional law, is no longer a factor in our courts. Our justice system is no longer legitimate. How did this happen? It turns out that our Grand Juries do not seem to understand that their job is to prosecute judges to, not just other people. When we give judges the power to rob people without accountability, what did we think they would do?

  3. If a lack of "harm" means no violation, then nearly every traffic ticket, parking ticket, infraction, most misdemeanors and ordinance violations cannot be lawfully prosecuted or enforced.

  4. What is the legal difference between collection and use of fingerprints versus the collection and us of DNA and facial imagee? Fingerprints have been used for decades upon decades. What's the practical difference between collection and use of fingerprints versus facial images or DNA?

  5. The judge is a criminal! Judges should be implementing and upholding the law; not circumventing and rewriting the laws. Shame on him/her. Kick him out and arrest him for dereliction of duty and betrayal of his oath of office.

  6. somewhere along the line we aloud google to do this through their contract.
    hell, none of us read their contract to download an app… we probable signed away our first born also!!!

  7. This is totally eroding our rights! The plaintiffs didn’t prove harm??? But it can happen and if these tech companies are given enough rope— they will interface with rogue players or governments and horrors might emerge! Look what happened in China with Google’s Dragonfly program!!! Big harm. I did not like the way Google CEO Sundar Pichai skirted around direct questions posited to him at the recent Congressional hearing.

  8. Every time some numb skull downloads an app, and clicks yes, they deserve to have their data used for what ever nefarious purpose the collector sees fit.

  9. Here is the legal reasoning behind the decision:

    The opinion hinges on a Supreme Court case called "Spokeo". It is a case that has been the death blow of many lawsuits alleging data harms. It states that in order to have standing to sue, you need to be able to allege a concrete harm apart from the bare procedural violation of a statute. In other cases, this is easily met by establishing monetary harm. However, there is no direct monetary (or other) harm here, so it was thrown out.

    This case was not decided on the substance of the arguments, but was thrown due to legal procedure. The judge stated that plaintiff did not have legal standing to sue. Standing has numerous requirements which must be met in order for a plaintiff to pursue a valid lawsuit. One of the requirements is harm. The plaintiff must suffer an injury. This injury requirement has multiple subparts and glosses to it, but the one at issue in this case is that the defendant's actions must violate the statute and injure the plaintiff. Spokeo holds that the plaintiff's injury must be more than just a violation of the statute (i.e. there must also be physical, monetary, or other harm).

    So in this case, there was a procedural violation of the statute because the data collection google was doing fell within the definition of biometric data as defined in the Illinois statute, however, the named plaintiff did not allege a "concrete harm", such a physical or monetary harm, that occurred as a result of the collection of that data. If, as a result of this collection, the plaintiff was later denied a job or some other material harm, then there would be concrete harm.

    Spokeo has really fucked things up. In cases of data breaches, where customer information was stolen and sold to identity thieves, you can not usually sue. To sue, you must have your identity stolen and also be able to identify the company that you are suing as the sole cause of your identity theft — that the hacker used the information from that specific data breach.

    Courts do not consider the threat of harm from data breaches as concrete harm. Further, you cannot create a monetary harm by purchasing identity theft protection following a data breach. This example is important to the google case because it demonstrates the court's terrible track record in this area. And if they are unwilling to admit that customers are harmed when their sensitive data is stolen from places like Experian, then they are definitely not going to find harm in a case of an emerging technology like facial recognition.

    So, it is not a surprise that this happened. The judge did not reinterpret that statute, but applied what is the law of the land for constitutional standing. You can expect more of this in the future in similar cases. Judges do not consider data harms as concrete harms. If your social security number is hacked and stolen from a company, you may never have your identity stolen. To Judges, these harms are abstract, uncertain, and speculative because they may never actually occur. Because the Supreme Court has already addressed this issue in Spokeo, you would either need Congress to act in order to change the standing requirements, wait 20 years for judges who understand data harms to be nominated to the bench, or wait 30 years for a completely different supreme court makeup to reconsider the issue.

  10. Here's the sad reality of this situation. People welcomed this technology. They gave up their rights to these private companies voluntarily. The government didn't have to forcefully impose it on anyone. From smartphone thumbprint scanning, to lowjacking themselves with GPS, to Google home and Amazon 'Alexa'…People aren't really going to get upset until they realize that a sex tape that they didn't even realize they were making "accidentally" gets leaked out to all of their friends, family, and contacts…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 + 16 =