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Illinois a Hub of Biometric Privacy Lawsuits

Illinois has become a center of biometric privacy litigation. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act is the only one in the nation that allows private parties to sue and has a fee-shifting provision allowing plaintiffs to recover attorney fees.

And biometric privacy lawsuits are in the news - there has been a spike in litigation against employers over fingerprints and other biometric data. Biometric data is a measurement or copy of a unique physical characteristic of an individual. It can be a fingerprint, retina or iris scan, voiceprints, hand scans, or facial geometry.

In March 2016, Google faced a class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (see "Class action suit alleges Google is violating Illinoisans' 'biometric' privacy," May 2016 LawPulse, at http://bit.ly/2zE4FRQ). As of November 11, 2017, the case is still in the discovery phase.

Most new lawsuits in Illinois are based on employers and retail businesses that allegedly fail to obtain written authorization before collecting fingerprint scans ("Spike in IL lawsuits vs employers over fingerprints, other biometric data may be just the beginning," Cook County Record, at http://bit.ly/2jqsTc0).

Find out more in the December Illinois Bar Journal.

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson
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