Groupon is facing a lawsuit claiming the online daily deal service lifts personal photos from Instagram without users’ consent for commercial gain.
Christine Dancel filed the suit Friday in Cook County circuit court after she took a photo of herself at a Vernon Hills restaurant last summer that the Chicago-based e-commerce website then used in a deal offer for that restaurant, the suit says.
Dancel tagged herself at the restaurant in her Instagram post but never authorized Groupon to use the photo on their website, the suit says.
The suit claims to speak for more than 1,000 Instagram users whose photos were lifted, which they call “a core part of Groupon’s advertising strategy.”
“Groupon intentionally creates the false impression that the consumers appearing in the photos are endorsing” the deals, causing “potential customers to think that people in the photos are satisfied Groupon customers even though they are not,” the suit says.
Groupon representatives could not be reached for comment Friday night.
The suit claims Groupon has violated the 1999 Illinois Right of Publicity Act, which protects consumers from unauthorized uses of their name, image or likeness.
According to its website, Instagram does not allow advertisers to use uploaded photos without users’ consent. A representative for the social media site could not immediately be reached for more details.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount in punitive and compensatory damages.