Tuesday January 31, 2017

2K Beats Lawsuit Over Biometric Face-Scanning

In today’s news story about how companies increasingly own your data, a judge has ruled in favor of video game publisher 2K, which was being sued because two guys didn’t like the idea of having their facial scan data kept on servers indefinitely. This case would have been a lot more interesting if there wasn’t an EULA involved and went beyond the mere issue of proving damages, as it could have been an opportunity to see what the judge really thought about how far companies may go in terms of keeping sensitive data such as biometrics. Funny enough, the game did a crappy job of duplicating your face to begin with.

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Take-Two was hit with a lawsuit in October 2015 over the "MyPlayer" feature of its NBA 2K series of games. To create avatars, the system uses cameras connected to PS4 and Xbox to scan the gamer's face and head. The process takes about 15 minutes, and gamers doing this have to agree to terms and conditions noting that the face scan will be visible to others. Afterward, Take-Two allegedly stores the biometric information indefinitely on its servers. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed the company had failed to obtain their informed consent. They alleged not fully understanding Take-Two's practices with respect to biometric information upon purchase and not having any recourse to return the game once they did. Even if they could get back their money, the suing gamers say that Take-Two failed to inform them in writing how the facial scans would be retained and disseminated.