Illinois State Senator Terry Link has proposed changes to the state's biometric privacy act that could end ongoing lawsuits against social media firms there related to facial recognition.Link plans to add wording to the bill that could make gathering biometric data legal in the state – two of the lawsuits, against Facebook and Shutterfly, focus on so-called tagging of people in social media images.The proposed change would alter the definition of a “scan” to be an in-person experience only. The new language defines a scan as “data resulting from an in-person process whereby a part of the body is traversed by a detector or an electronic beam”. It also adds “physical or digital” photographs to the list of items that are not biometric identifiers. The changes are attached to HB6074, a bill that tackles unclaimed property procedures, The Verge notes.The 2008 BIPA states that private entities are barred from obtaining and possessing biometrics without meeting certain conditions. The law defines a biometric identifier as “any personal feature that is unique to an individual, including fingerprints, iris scans, DNA and 'face geometry,' among others”. Rivera's complaint states that Google's cloud-based Google Photos service has “created, collected and stored” millions of “face templates or face prints – highly detailed geometric maps of the face – from millions of Illinois residents, many thousands of whom are not even enrolled in the Google Photos service”. -In the Shutterfly suit, a plaintiff claims he is not a registered Shutterfly user, but that his biometric (facial data) was still stored by the service after a friend had uploaded group photos.In March, Internet search giant Google became the latest tech firm to face a lawsuit filed under an Illinois law over the use of facial recognition technology and photo sharing. A Chicago resident named Lindabeth Rivera filed a class action complaint March 1 in federal court in Chicago, accusing the Google of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The 2008 BIPA states that private entities are barred from obtaining and possessing biometrics without meeting certain conditions. The law defines a biometric identifier as “any personal feature that is unique to an individual, including fingerprints, iris scans, DNA and 'face geometry,' among others”. Rivera's complaint states that Google's cloud-based Google Photos service has “created, collected and stored” millions of “face templates or face prints – highly detailed geometric maps of the face – from millions of Illinois residents, many thousands of whom are not even enrolled in the Google Photos service”.Critics say that Link is reacting to pressure from tech firms.”We believe that Facebook is a lobbyist that is a part of this,” Christopher Dore, a partner with Edelson, the firm working on the lawsuit against Facebook, according to The Verge. “The changes that have been proposed certainly mirror the arguments that have been made in our case.”