Can unionized employees sue their employers in court for violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)? In a rare victory for BIPA defendants, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled they cannot.
February 2023 was a momentous month for Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Just two weeks after imposing a 5-year time limit for all BIPA claims, the Illinois Supreme Court resolved another pressing issue. In Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc., the Illinois Supreme Court considered whether a BIPA claim accrues every time a company scans or transmits a person’s biometric identifier (e.g., fingerprint) without consent. In a closely divided 4-3 ruling, the Court answered “yes.”…
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has spawned hundreds of class action lawsuits and a raft of unresolved issues. A core issue from a litigation perspective—as well as for companies bracing for potential lawsuits—is one of “standing,” and in particular, what BIPA claims can be brought by plaintiffs in what venues.
Continue Reading Beware BIPA Bifurcation: Plaintiffs’ New Gambit to Split BIPA Claims Between State and Federal Courts
The Seventh Circuit has recently ruled that plaintiffs have standing to enforce the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act’s informed consent requirements in federal court. As we have written before, , BIPA regulates the collection, use, and retention of a person’s biometric information, e.g., fingerprints, face scans, etc. For years, federal trial courts have been split on whether a violation of BIPA’s informed consent provision is alone sufficient to confer Article III standing. . The decision in Bryant v. Compass Group USA, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2020 WL 2121463 (7th Cir. May 5, 2020) removes that uncertainty and will drastically change the landscape of BIPA litigation going forward.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Issues Landmark BIPA Decision
A lawsuit against US Cold Storage under the Biometric Information Privacy Act was recently dismissed because, the court held, the violations of the law were merely technical. As a result, the plaintiff did not have sufficient standing. This decision echoes the other cases we have reported on recently.
Continue Reading No Federal Court Standing for BIPA Violation Without Injury
Last month a federal district court dismissed a putative class action lawsuit against United Airlines challenging its use of fingerprint scanning timeclocks. The lawsuit brought by United employee David Johnson alleged that the company’s collection and use of employees’ fingerprints violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) because the company failed to get the requisite consent from its employees for fingerprint collection and use.
Continue Reading BIPA Claims Against United Airlines Must be Arbitrated Due to Collective Bargaining Agreement
Continuing our series, we look today at what a company should think about when collecting biometric data. Three U.S. states—Illinois, Texas, and Washington—have laws on-point. The Illinois statute is the most specific requiring written notice disclosing the purpose of collection and the length of time biometric information will be stored. It also requires companies to obtain each individual’s written consent. Texas requires companies to inform individuals of collection and obtain consent, but neither must be written. In Washington, companies may either give notice, obtain consent, or “prevent the subsequent use of a biometric identifier for a commercial purpose.” Companies in compliance with the Illinois law would also satisfy the other states’ less specific requirements.
Continue Reading Biometric Breakdown Part II – Collection
1. Illinois and Texas recently enacted laws regulating the collection and use of biometric information (e., information based on an individual’s biometric identifiers, such as iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, or facial geometry) and a number of other states, including New York and California, are considering adopting such statutes. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) permits private rights of action and provides for statutory damages ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per violation. The Texas analog, entitled Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier (“CUBI”), is enforceable only by the state attorney general and permits civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation.
Continue Reading Six Things You Need to Know Before Collecting Biometric Information
Over the last six months, at least four putative class actions have been filed under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”)—an obscure Illinois statute passed about seven years ago to regulate the collection and use of consumers’ biometric information. In relevant part, the BIPA requires entities in possession of biometric information (i.e., retina scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, etc.) to retain a specific written policy governing data retention and to collect written consent from consumers before collecting biometric information.
Continue Reading Tag, You’re It: Biometric Information Privacy Act Class Action Against Shutterfly Moves Past 12(b)(6)