Cook County Record

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Class action claims WeWork's facial recognition requirement violates IL biometrics law


By Marian Johns | Nov 21, 2019

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CHICAGO — One of the leading providers of shared office space has been hit with a class action under an Illinois biometrics privacy law, claiming the company violated the rights of workers in Chicago in using facial recognition to "monitor" those using its workspaces.

The class action was brought in the name of Elliot Osborne, a man who worked for SpotHero out of WeWork offices in Chicago.

Osborne filed his complaint  Nov. 5 in Cook County Circuit Court against WeWork Companies, WeWork Construction LLC and others, alleging violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. 

Osborne claimed he worked out of the Chicago WeWork office in 2017 and alleges the company required a photograph of his face "as a method for monitoring him in WeWork's office space." He claims he was never informed about the purpose or length of time his biometric data would be collected, stored and disseminated or gave written consent for his data to be collected. In his suit, Osborne also claims he does not know if his information will ever be permanently deleted. 

The complaint seeks to expand the action to include a class of additional plaintiffs, including anyone "who entered a WeWork space in the State of Illinois and had their facial geometry collected, captured, received, otherwise obtained, maintained, stored, or disclosed."

The complaint seeks statutory damages of $1,000-$5,000 per violation, plus attorney fees. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Ryan Stephan, James Zouras and Haley Jenkins of Stephan Zouras LLP in Chicago. 

Circuit Court of Cook County case number 2019CH12856

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Organizations in this Story

Stephan Zouras LLPCircuit Court of Cook CountyWework