Biometrics capture, collect and store voiceprints, fingerprints, and retinal and facial scans. Employers typically use the information for security purposes. This information can offer benefits, but there are also growing risks that all Illinois companies have to take into consideration.
Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act
The Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA, regulates the collection, safeguarding, retention, storage, use and destruction of biometric information and identifiers. BIPA offers anyone with claims of violations to put grievances before the court. An aggrieved party can recover damages, reasonable legal costs and fees, and other relief deemed by the court when they can prove a privacy violation.
The Rosenbach decision
BIPA has been in effect since 2008. However, it was a landmark 2019 case, Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., that became a turning point in the legislation. In this matter, the Illinois Supreme Court held up a plaintiff's right to pursue BIPA claims even where there was no actual damage or harm. The court attested that the technical violations alone were enough to eliminate previously required evidence of injury or harm from alleged violations.
The court decision said that it was enough if a business ran afoul of BIPA consent, notice or disclosure. Afterward, there was a noticeable increase in BIPA class-action lawsuits where violations did not establish harm or injury. There were high-profile lawsuits against Google and Facebook.
BIPA is more attractive than ever to plaintiffs
The Rosenbach case made it easier to file claims, especially with the right of action provision. This allows statutory damages of $1,000 for each accusation of negligence as well as $5,000 per reckless or intentional violation. The damages offer plaintiff attorneys incentives to pursue class-action litigation.
Filing a claim
Employers utilizing biometric technology typically prepare to defend against these high-end class-action suits. They often deploy defenses to minimize the damage that BIPA claims can have on operations, so individuals who wish to file a claim may want legal guidance throughout the process. If you have concerns about BIPA claims, contact USA Employment Lawyers.