Illinois businesses, take note:
In a startling decision this morning, the Illinois Supreme Court held that “a separate claim accrues under the [Illinois Biometric Privacy] Act each time a private entity scans or transmits an individual’s biometric identifier or information in violation of” the BIPA. In so doing, the Court acknowledged that, if ultimately successful, the claims before it could lead to damages in excess of $17 billion for a class of 9,500 current and former employees.
This decision is yet another in a remarkably pro-plaintiff series of court decisions interpreting and applying the BIPA. It means that each and every time an employee clocks in or each and every time a business collects any sort of fingerprint, voiceprint, or other unique biological information, the employer may be on the hook for liquidated damages under BIPA.
The message is clear. Every business operating in Illinois should immediately determine their compliance with the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Does your business have a written policy on collection of biometric information?
- What is that policy and does it need to be updated?
- What steps are you taking to gather and store each employee’s consent to use of their biometric information?
We’re here to help. If you have concerns contact Charles Valente, Jason Metnick, Heather O’Toole, or any attorney at MPS Law so that we can help you quickly comply with BIPA and minimize any existing risks.