Understanding Biometric Data Laws in Illinois

biometrics

If you work in Illinois, chances are good that you have dealt with a biometric time clock. This is a system that has largely replaced the traditional time clock. Instead of merely punching a card, employees must now provide palm, iris, fingerprint, or facial scans. Employers have hailed biometrics as a much more reliable measure of time.

Can you be terminated for not complying?

The presence of biometric data is so widespread throughout the country that you can now be terminated in many states for refusing to engage with it. However, it is also important that business owners understand that there are laws in place to regulate the collection, use, and storage of this data.

Biometric systems are popular because they cut down drastically on employee time theft. Employees must provide biometric data to prove when and if they have clocked in at the proper time. This reduces some employers' uncertainty over the number of hours an employee may have worked.

However, many employees raise concerns over the use of these systems. Getting a clear answer on how this data is stored isn't always possible. It is also important to know what can be done with this data once it has been collected.

What is Illinois' take on biometrics?

Illinois is the state that first crafted and approved legislation on the issue of biometrics. The Illinois Biometric Privacy Information Act requires businesses to obtain the written consent of their employees before using biometrics. This includes collecting any data via this method. The law also regulates how this data is disclosed, profited from, protected, retained, and ultimately discarded.

Navigating the area of consent to occasionally intrusive biometric measures can be difficult. This is an area where issues of consent can sometimes lead to wrangling over the potential use of the obtained data. It's understandable if you have concerns over privacy or feel that collecting biometric data may have violated your rights. Feel free to contact USA Employment Lawyers if you have any concerns or questions on this matter.
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