Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly collecting face templates and fingerprints of its customers without their consent, in violation of Illinois’ new biometric privacy law.
The suit, which was filed in federal court in San Francisco, claims that Coinbase harvests facial data from IDs and selfies that customers upload.
As reported by Bloomberg, the company also harvests fingerprint data when customers log into their accounts using the required fingerprint scanning technology. The company’s collection and storage of this data exposes users to “serious and irreversible privacy risks,” according to the lawsuit.
The case highlights the growing concern over data privacy and the need for companies to be transparent about how they collect and use user data, especially sensitive biometric information such as facial recognition and fingerprint data.
As more companies collect and store biometric data, it’s likely that lawsuits like this will become more common, underscoring the importance of strong data privacy practices that work to prevent the misappropriation of such sensitive information in the first place.
While Bitcoin is an inherently transparent database, and many of the onramps that are most often used to buy and sell bitcoin require full KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance, there are steps that Bitcoin users can take to minimize leaks of private data.