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The Blackhawks Are Being Sued...Again. This Time For Allegedly Using Facial Recognition Software On Its Fans

While Allen’s claim was filed in 2020, details of his case and the Blackhawks’ defence had not been widely reported before now. The plaintiffs and Blackhawks have argued this year over discovery issues, according to court records.

The lawsuit alleges the Blackhawks “scanned Mr. Allen’s facial geometry from security camera footage and stored a facial geometry template for Mr. Allen. The defendant failed to inform Mr. Allen in writing that it was collecting his biometric identifiers or information, the purpose and length of term for such collection, and failed to obtain their written consent before defendant collected his facial geometry scan.”

“[The Blackhawks franchise] denies it collected Mr. Allen’s ‘biometric identifiers or information,’ denies it violated BIPA, and denies any remaining allegations…,” the team wrote in a July 23, 2020, response.

Allen is asking a judge to approve a class action that would include all customers who attended a Blackhawks game between Oct. 15, 2014, and the date his lawsuit was filed.

“Based on the investigation by his counsel, Mr. Allen reasonably believes that the class comprises tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of members,” Allen’s claim says. “The exact number of persons the class can be determined from records maintained by the defendant.”

The Blackhawks say since Allen filed his claim in 2020, a two-year limitations period would prevent the team from legal exposure earlier than that.

Can I be honest with you guys for a second...I don't really understand what is being said here. 

This guy, Allen, is saying the Blackhawks illegally stole his face illegally with facial recognition software. How the fuck did he know that? You'd have to be a crackpot to allege something like that and do an investigation and start to file a class action suit...on your own. Sounds insane. 

Except...the organization didn't really deny it. Their stated defense something like "blah blah blah statute of limitations...blah blah blah, read the fine print on the tickets blah". 

Sounds like the organization is probably doing this. Why? I don't know. Instinctually it feels intrusive. Isn't it enough that you got my $500 for tickets, parking, a couple of beers, and a hot dog? Do you really need to scan my fat face shoving said hot dog into said fat face on top of that? Seems like a bit much. Another instance of the organization doing something because they can without considering if they should. That had become a theme of the organization under John McDonough and I am hoping it changes under Jamie Faulkner and Danny Wirtz, but we haven't seen much of evidence of that yet. 

I will say...this report from Westhead seems like he has an axe to grind with the organization. He, more than anyone else, has been the lead reporter on the sexual assault allegations. I definitely appreciate his work on those stories and I hope he continues to dig because I think there is more there, but some of the quotes he pulls from certain witnesses make me cringe a bit. It's the most serious subject and in my opinion the investigators and media should be a little more discerning with the sources and quotes they go public with, but that is neither here nor there. 

We'll see how this plays out, but my guess is that unless Rick Westhead continues to smash the Hawks every chance he gets this story will fade. 

I am really ready to talk about the product on the ice again. I am excited for the season. The suits and the lawsuits have made it difficult to be a fan. Quotes like this bring me back. 


Apparently the case has been settled or thrown out or something