British fintech giant Revolut is confronting a proposed class action lawsuit in Illinois under the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). In accordance with BIPA, Tina Haralampopoulos filed a lawsuit in December alleging that Revolut unlawfully collects and stores users' biometric data without obtaining the necessary written consent.
Haralampopoulos claims that Revolut fails to provide essential information to customers regarding the storage of their biometric data, including details on third-party involvement in the identity verification process. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Fintech lacks a publicly available policy disclosing the duration of data retention, the purpose of retaining biometric data, and the methods and timing of data destruction.
Revolut, which has gained traction in the U.S. since entering the market in 2020, boasts over 35 million global customers, with over 840,000 users in the U.S. as of October 2023. Given that Illinois is home to the third-largest city in the nation, plaintiffs argue that there may be a sizable number of affected users—possibly at least 10,000—in the case. Matthew Peterson of Consumer Law Advocate PLLC is representing them.
If Revolut is found to be in violation of BIPA, plaintiffs may be entitled to damages of $5,000 per reckless violation and $1,000 per negligent violation over the preceding five years. The BIPA was enacted in 2008 following the bankruptcy of Pay By Touch, emphasizing the need for adequate protection of biometric records during bankruptcy proceedings.
The lawsuit against Revolut highlights concerns stemming from the Pay By Touch bankruptcy, where millions of fingerprint records faced potential unauthorized distribution without proper safeguards. A spokesperson for Revolut declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuit.
This legal action follows similar cases against crypto companies Coinbase and Binance. US under BIPA. Several tech giants, including Meta and Google's parent company Alphabet, have settled BIPA-related allegations in recent years, underscoring the increasing scrutiny and legal consequences surrounding biometric data privacy.
The outcome of the Revolut case will be closely watched, as it adds to the growing landscape of legal battles over biometric data practices and emphasizes the importance of compliance with privacy laws in the fintech industry.