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Coinbase Sued Over Biometrics Collection: Privacy Breach Allegations

Coinbase Hit with Lawsuit Over Alleged Privacy Violations in Biometrics Collection

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit over allegations of violating Illinois biometric privacy laws by collecting and storing customer fingerprints and facial templates.

According to a filing in a California District Court by a Coinbase user, the exchange’s requirement for customers to upload pictures of a valid ID and a self-portrait for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks violates certain provisions of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in Illinois.

The lawsuit argues that BIPA required Coinbase to obtain permission from users when collecting their biometrics and provide the purpose for collecting such data, how long it would be stored, how it would be used, and how Coinbase would permanently destroy it.

The suit is seeking damages of $5,000 per intentional BIPA violation or $1,000 if the alleged violations were not wilful, along with payment of attorneys’ fees and court costs of the class action.


Mohammad Ali is a fintech and cryptocurrency writer who has been covering the intersection of finance and technology for several years. Ali has a deep understanding of the financial industry and the ways in which technology is changing it, with a special focus on the rise of digital currencies and blockchain technology.