Labaton Sucharow Investigating Claims Shutterfly Violated Customer Privacy Rights

by Labaton Sucharow

July 1, 2020

Labaton Sucharow LLP (“Labaton Sucharow”) is investigating Shutterfly, Inc. for its use of facial recognition software in violation of Illinois privacy laws.  Shutterfly customers who uploaded their photos were likely subjected to its proprietary facial recognition technology and may be eligible for compensation.

We believe Shutterfly is violating privacy rights and Illinois law when Shutterfly uses facial recognition technology to locate each and every face appearing in each and every photo uploaded to its platform.

Our investigation suggests that Shutterfly extracts faceprints (i.e., a biometric identifier) from each person appearing in each photo, without providing notice and obtaining written consent.  Under Illinois law, this practice is illegal.  Shutterfly users who did not give written consent for Shutterfly to use its facial recognition technology on photos uploaded to its platform may be entitled to compensation.

Biometric Data Is Highly Sensitive

“Biometrics” refers to unique physical characteristics.  Common biometric identifiers include retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, and hand or face geometry scans.  One of the most prevalent uses of biometrics is in facial recognition technology, which works by scanning a photograph or image for human faces, extracting facial feature data from that photograph or image, generating a “faceprint” from the image through the use of facial recognition algorithms, and then comparing, or “matching,” the resultant faceprint to other faceprints stored in a “faceprint database.”  If a database match is found, a person may be identified.

Unlike other personal information like credit cards and bank account numbers, biometric data is part of a person’s physical being and cannot be changed.  Since this information is unique to individuals, if it is compromised or stolen, they are permanently at an increased risk for identity theft and other misuse.

Illinois Law Protects Biometric Information

Under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), it is illegal for a company to use facial recognition technology to collect and/or store a person’s faceprint without the person’s written consent.

If you are or were a Shutterfly customer in Illinois and uploaded any pictures of yourself while living in Illinois, you likely qualify to sign up for a claim.  To see if you qualify for a potential claim, click here.

About the Firm

Labaton Sucharow LLP is one of the world’s leading complex litigation firms representing clients in securities, antitrust, corporate governance and shareholder rights, and consumer cybersecurity and data privacy litigation. Labaton Sucharow has been recognized for its excellence by the courts and peers, and it is consistently ranked in leading industry publications.  Offices are located in New York, NY, Wilmington, DE, and Washington, D.C. More information about Labaton Sucharow is available at


If you would like to speak to someone, please call about potential claims: (917) 877-7609

To sign up for a potential claim, click here.



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