Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is this notice and why should I read it?
The Court authorized this website to let you know about a proposed Settlement with Onfido. You have legal rights and options that you may act on before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. You may be eligible to receive a cash payment as part of the Settlement. This website explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Marvin E. Aspen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is overseeing this class action. The case is called Sosa v. Onfido, Inc., No. 20-cv-04247. The people who brought the lawsuit, Fredy Sosa and Rohith Amruthur, are the Plaintiffs. The company they sued, Onfido, Inc., is the Defendant.
2. What is a class action lawsuit?
A class action is a lawsuit in which an individual or individuals called “Class Representatives” bring a single lawsuit on behalf of other people who have similar legal claims. All of these people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” Once a settlement class is certified, a class action Settlement finally approved by the Court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Classes.
THE CLAIMS IN THE LAWSUIT AND THE SETTLEMENT
3. What is this lawsuit about?
Defendant Onfido provides identity verification software that uses facial recognition to several apps and websites to help them confirm the identities of people who use their mobile apps and websites. On those apps and websites, users can upload a current picture or video of their face (a “selfie” or similar photo or video of oneself) along with their photo ID (like a driver’s license or passport) and Onfido’s software compares the two faces for a match.
This lawsuit alleges that, in performing identity verification for its customers, Onfido collected scans of users’ facial geometry without complying with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS 14/1, et seq., which prohibits private companies from capturing, obtaining, storing, and/or using the biometric identifiers and/or biometric information of another individual for any purpose, without first providing notice and getting consent in writing. Plaintiffs allege that consumers in the state of Illinois who uploaded a photo or video of themselves and a photo ID to any app or website using Onfido’s facial recognition software were not aware that Onfido was collecting their biometric data and did not receive proper notice or give the necessary consent for such collection. Onfido denies these allegations and denies that it was subject to or violated BIPA.
More information about Plaintiffs’ complaint in the lawsuit and the Defendant’s defenses can be found in the “Case Documents” section of the homepage.
4. Who is included in the Settlement Classes?
You are a member of one of the Settlement Classes if, while in the state of Illinois, you uploaded a photo or video of yourself and a photo ID to any application, software, or website operated by a customer of Onfido, and subsequently to Onfido, between June 12, 2015 and May 5, 2023. If you received a notice of the Settlement via email or in the mail, our records indicate that you are a class member and are included in the Settlement. You can visit the Submit Claim page to see whether you’re a member of the Financial Institution Class or Non-Financial Institution Class. Just submit your last name and Claim ID located on your email or mail notice, and the site will tell you which class you’re in.
The following individuals are not members of either of the Settlement Classes: (1) persons who executed a written release or consent form specifically naming Onfido as being authorized to collect or store their alleged biometric data, before their alleged biometric data was ever collected or stored by Onfido, (2) any Judge or Magistrate presiding over this action and members of their families, (3) Defendant, Defendant’s subsidiaries, parent companies, successors, predecessors, and any entity in which Defendant or its parents have a controlling interest, (4) persons who properly execute and file a timely request for exclusion from the Settlement Classes, and (5) the legal representatives, successors or assigns of any such excluded persons.
For clarity, exclusion (1) above means that persons who agreed in writing to Onfido collecting or storing their biometric data, before Onfido ever collected such data, are not included in the Settlement. Such persons would have agreed while they were using an app, website, or software that uses Onfido’s identity verification services and before the identity verification occurred.
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
5. What does the Settlement provide?
Cash Payments. If you’re eligible, you can submit a claim to receive a cash payment. The amount of such payment will depend on whether you are in the Financial Institution Class or the Non-Financial Institution Class. Payments to Financial Institution Class Members who submit a valid Claim Form are estimated to be between $65 and $110, and payments to Non-Financial Institution Class Members who submit a valid Claim Form are estimated to be between $210 and $350. These settlement payments could be more or less depending on the number of valid claims submitted. The estimated payment amount to Financial Institution Class Members is less because those class members’ claims in the lawsuit were subject to certain defenses that do not apply to the Non-Financial Institution Class Members.
These payments will be a pro rata, or equal, share of either a $12,785,595.90 fund that Onfido agreed to create for Financial Institution Class Members, or of a $15,714,404.10 fund that Onfido agreed to create for Non-Financial Institution Class Members, after the payment of settlement expenses, attorneys’ fees, and any incentive award for the Class Representatives approved by the Court. In order to allow Onfido to pay all of the money, all settlement payments will be paid in installments over three years, as detailed below (see FAQ 7).
Non-Monetary Relief. Under the settlement, Onfido has agreed it will provide its customers with an informed written consent form and require it to be viewed and agreed to by users who reside in Illinois before any facial recognition or identity verification is performed. Onfido has also agreed to establish and maintain a publicly-available retention and deletion policy for biometric data and to delete users’ biometric data pursuant to that policy.
HOW TO GET SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
6. How do I get a payment?
If you are a Financial Institution Class Member or a Non-Financial Institution Class Member and you want to get a payment, you must complete and submit a valid Claim Form by October 6, 2023. If you received an email notice, it contained a link to the online Claim Form, which is also available here and can be filled out and submitted online. The online claim form lets you select to receive your payment by Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, or check. A paper Claim Form with pre-paid postage was attached to the postcard notice you may have received in the mail. Those who submit a paper Claim Form will receive their payment by checks by mail, if the claim is approved.
The Claim Form requires you to provide the following information: (i) full name, (ii) current U.S. Mail address, (iii) current contact telephone number and email address, and (iv) a statement that you are an individual who, while within the State of Illinois, uploaded a photo or video of yourself and a photo ID to an application, software, or website for identity verification between June 12, 2015 and May 5, 2023.
7. When will I get my payment?
The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for November 9, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. If the Court approves the Settlement, Class Members whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will receive their payments via their selected method: either electronic (Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle) or paper check. In order to allow Onfido to pay all of the money, all settlement payments will be paid in installments over three years.
Timing of Electronic Payments. As shown in the chart below, class members who select an electronic payment method will receive four installment payments over three years.
Timing of Payments by Check. As shown in the chart below, class members who select a paper check as their payment method will receive two installment payments over three years. If you opt for paper checks, you must contact the Settlement Administrator if your address changes any time before the second and final installment payment date.
We strongly encourage class members to select an electronic payment method (Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle), instead of paper checks, because it allows you to receive more of your settlement payment faster, it is more efficient and secure than a paper check in the mail, and you won’t need to update your address with the settlement administrator if your address changes before the final installment payment is paid.
Installment Payment Date
Approximate Amount of Each Electronic Payment
Approximate Amount of Each Payment via Check
Uncashed checks and electronic payments that are unable to be completed will expire and become void 180 days after they are issued and will revert to their respective settlement fund to be redistributed pro rata to claiming class members in the remaining installment payments. If any residual funds remain after the final redistribution, those funds will, subject to Court approval, be sent to the Unclaimed Property Division of the Illinois Treasurer’s Office to be claimed by class members who missed the final void deadline (see https://icash.illinoistreasurer.gov) or to a cy pres recipient selected by the Court.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
8. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
Yes, the Court has appointed attorneys J. Eli Wade-Scott and Schuyler Ufkes from the law firm Edelson PC as the attorneys to represent you and other Class Members. These attorneys are called “Class Counsel.” In addition, the Court appointed Plaintiff Fredy Sosa to serve as the Class Representative of the Non-Financial Institution Class and Rohith Amruthur to serve as the Class Representative of the Financial Institution Class. They are Class Members. Class Counsel can be reached by calling 1-866-354-3015.
9. Should I get my own lawyer?
You don’t need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. You may hire your own lawyer, but if you do so, you will have to pay that lawyer.
10. How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to 33% of each settlement fund to be paid on the same schedule as class members are paid, and will also request an incentive award of $5,000.00 for each Class Representative from the settlement fund associated with the class they represent. If the Settlement is finally approved, the Court will determine the proper amount of any attorneys’ fees and expenses to award Class Counsel and the proper amount of any award to the Class Representatives. The Court may award less than the amounts requested.
YOUR RIGHTS AND OPTIONS
11. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you will receive no money from the settlement funds, but you will still be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be able to file or continue a lawsuit against Onfido or other Released Parties regarding any of the Released Claims. Submitting a valid and timely Claim Form is the only way to receive a payment from this Settlement.
12. What happens if I ask to be excluded?
You may exclude yourself from the Settlement. If you do so, you will not receive any cash payment, but you will keep any claims you may have against the Released Parties (as that term is defined in the Settlement Agreement) and are free to pursue whatever legal rights you may have in your own lawsuit against the Released Parties at your own risk and expense.
13. How do I ask to be excluded?
You can mail or email a letter stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement. Your letter must: (a) be in writing; (b) identify the case name, Sosa v. Onfido, Inc., No. 20-cv-04247 (N.D. Ill.); (c) state the full name and current address of the person seeking exclusion; (d) be signed by the person seeking exclusion; and (e) be postmarked or received by the Settlement Administrator on or before September 29, 2023. Each request for exclusion must also contain a statement to the effect that “I hereby request to be excluded from the proposed Settlement Classes in Sosa v. Onfido, Inc., No. 20-cv-04247 (N.D. Ill.).” You must mail or e-mail your exclusion request no later than September 29, 2023 to:
Sosa v. Onfido, Inc. Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 25205
Santa Ana, CA 92799
You can’t exclude yourself over the phone. No person may request to be excluded from the Settlement Classes through “mass” or “class” opt-outs. Each request for exclusion must be separately signed and submitted.
14. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Onfido for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Onfido and any other Released Party for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.
15. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive a payment.
16. How do I object to the Settlement?
If you do not exclude yourself from either settlement class, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should deny approval by filing an objection. To object, you must file a letter or brief with the Court stating that you object to the Settlement in Sosa v. Onfido, Inc., No. 20-cv-04247 (N.D. Ill.), no later than September 29, 2023. All objections and other filings submitted by persons represented by an attorney must be e-filed via CM/ECF. Pro se litigants may submit objections and other filings via the Clerk’s Office’s Pro Se Filer Submission webpage, https://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/Pages.aspx?page=SubmitProSePDF, or by delivering them to the Clerk of the Court at the following address:
Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
The objection must be in writing, must be signed, and must include the following information: (a) your full name and current address, (b) a statement that you believe you are a member of the Financial Institution Class or the Non-Financial Institution Class, (c) whether the objection applies only to the objector, to a specific subset of the Financial Institution Class or the Non-Financial Institution Class, or to the entire Financial Institution Class or the Non-Financial Institution Class, (d) the specific grounds for your objection, (e) all documents or writings that you wish the Court to consider, (f) the name and contact information of any attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with the preparation or submission of the objection or who may profit from the pursuit of the objection, and (g) a statement indicating whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. If you hire an attorney in connection with making an objection, that attorney must file an appearance with the Court or seek pro hac vice admission to practice before the Court, and electronically file the objection by the objection deadline of September 29, 2023. If you do hire your own attorney, you will be solely responsible for payment of any fees and expenses the attorney incurs on your behalf. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you cannot file an objection.
In addition to filing your objection with the Court, you must send via mail, email, or delivery service, by no later than September 29, 2023, copies of your objection and any supporting documents to both Class Counsel and Defendant’s lawyers at the addresses listed below:
350 North LaSalle Street, 14th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60654
BAKER & HOSTETLER
200 South Orange Avenue, Suite 2300
Orlando, Florida 32801
Class Counsel will file with the Court and post on the settlement website its request for attorneys’ fees and incentive awards on September 15, 2023.
17. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?
Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Classes as a Financial Institution Class Member or Non-Financial Institution Class Member. Excluding yourself from either settlement class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be a Financial Institution Class Member or a Non-Financial Institution Class Member. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
THE COURT’S FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing on November 9, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. before the Honorable Marvin E. Aspen in Room 2568 at the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, or via remote means as instructed by the Court. Instructions for participating remotely will be posted on the Settlement Website. The purpose of the hearing is for the Court to determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Classes. At the hearing, the Court will hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement, including those related to the amount requested by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and the incentive award to the Class Representatives.
Note: The date, time, and location of the Final Approval Hearing are subject to change by Court order. Any changes will be posted on this website.
19. Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as your written objection was filed or mailed on time and meets the other criteria described in the Settlement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay a lawyer to attend, but you don’t have to.
20. May I speak at the hearing?
Yes. If you do not exclude yourself, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the hearing concerning any part of the proposed Settlement. If you filed an objection (see Question 16 above) and intend to appear at the hearing, you must state your intention to do so in your objection.
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
21. Where do I get more information?
This website summarized the proposed Settlement. More details, including the Settlement Agreement and other documents, are available on the “Case Documents” section of the homepage or at the Clerk’s Office in the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays and any closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also contact Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015 with any questions.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT, THE JUDGE, THE DEFENDANT OR THE DEFENDANT’S LAWYERS WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR DISTRIBUTION OF SETTLEMENT PAYMENTS.