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THORNLEY, ET AL. V. CLEARVIEW AI, INC.

Silver Golub & Teitell LLP (SGT) has filed a putative class action in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court alleging that Clearview AI, Inc., (“Clearview) which has created and marketed a notorious facial recognition app, violated Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq., by marketing an application containing facial scans of Illinois residents. BIPA expressly prohibits a private entity from selling or otherwise profiting in Illinois from another person’s biometric identifier, including a facial scan. BIPA provides for statutory damages of $1,000 for negligent violations; $5,000 for intentional or reckless violations.

Clearview’s creation and marketing of Clearview’s creation and marketing of its app were first revealed in an explosive New York Times article in January 2020 and resulted in a flurry of proposed class actions against Clearview in Illinois federal court and in other federal courts across the country. These actions have now all been consolidated in an MDL in the Northern District of Illinois. The federal actions assert multiple violations of BIPA, common law claims and other federal and state statutory claims.

SGT filed its operative complaint in Illinois State Court on May 27, 2021, on behalf of several Illinois residents and Clearview removed the action to federal court and SGT moved to remand for lack of jurisdiction. The district court granted SGT’s motion, and Clearview appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit. The 7th Circuit affirmed the remand, 984 F.3d 1241, and denied Clearview’s motion to stay issuance of the mandate pending Clearview’s filing of a petition for certiorari.

The case is Thornley, et al v. Clearview AI, Inc., No. 20 CH 4348 (Cook County Circuit Court) and is pending before Hon. Michael T. Mullen, Circuit Judge, Chancery Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.


THORNLEY, ET AL. V. CDW-GOVERNMENT, LLC AND WYNNDALCO ENTERPRISES, LLC

Silver Golub & Teitell LLP (SGT) has filed a putative class action in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court against two Illinois companies that assisted Clearview AI, Inc. (“Clearview”) in selling its facial recognition app to the Chicago Police Department (“CPD”), in alleged violation of the Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.

The complaint alleges that CDW-Government, LLC (“CDW-G”), a major government supplier, was approached by the CPD to supply the Clearview app because Clearview itself was not an approved vendor for the City of Chicago. Because the Clearview app was not included in the CDW-G catalog, the complaint alleges, CDW-G arranged for Wynndalco Enterprises, LLC (“Wynndalco”) to purchase the app from Clearview, and re-sell it to CDW-G, which then resold it to the CPD.

The case is Thornley, et al v. CDW-Government, LLC and Wynndalco Enterprises, LLC, No. 20 CH 4346 (Cook County Circuit Court) and is pending before Hon. Raymond W. Mithcell, Circuit Judge, Chancery Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.