In a landmark decision that will have widespread effects, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a claim accrues each time—rather than just the first time—that data is collected in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Because BIPA provides statutory damages for each violation, this ruling exponentially increases potential damages, especially in the employment
Lessons from the Texas Biometric Data Action Against Google
On October 20, 2022, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton brought suit in Texas district court against Google for alleged violations of the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act (“CUBI”). The petition claims that Google violated CUBI by collecting, analyzing, and storing the facial geometry of individuals who appear in photos that have…
Verdict in Favor of Plaintiffs in First BIPA Jury Trial – Potential Damages Still Unresolved
The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the first trial for violations of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (“BIPA”), which was conducted in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Rogers v. BNSF Ry. Co., No. 1:19-cv-03083. A jury found that BNSF Railway violated BIPA by maintaining an…
Illinois Supreme Court Holds That Biometric Privacy Claims Are Not Preempted by Workers’ Compensation Act
On February 3, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled in McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park, LLC, 2022 IL 126511, that the exclusivity provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) do not preempt employees’ claims for statutory damages under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The decision provides clarity for a number…
New York City’s Biometric Identifier Information Law Takes Effect
On July 9, 2021, New York City’s biometric identifier information law became effective. The law, which was enacted in January 2021, addresses the collection and use of biometric identifier information (BII) by commercial establishments—meaning places of entertainment, retail stores, or food and drink establishments—to track customer activity. It creates a private right of action and subjects violators to statutory damages.
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The State of Proposed Biometrics Laws
2021 has so far been a year of conflicting impulses in biometrics law: two proposed bills in New York and Maryland would impose substantial new requirements on private entities, but in Illinois a proposed amendment would reign in that state’s existing Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
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New York Proposes Biometric Privacy Bill With Private Right of Action
On January 6, 2021, a bipartisan group of New York state lawmakers released a copy of Assembly Bill 27 (AB 27), the New York Biometric Privacy Act. If New York passes AB 27, it will join Illinois, Texas, and Washington as states that have adopted laws that strictly regulate the notice, collection, and handling…
Facebook BIPA Class Settlement Receives Preliminary Approval
On August 19, 2020, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval of the class action settlement in In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, 3:15-cv-03747-JD. If the settlement receives final approval, Facebook would pay $650 million to Illinois class members as compensation for violations of the Illinois…
Collecting Personal Information to Combat Coronavirus and the CCPA
Businesses subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) that have begun exploring the possibility of collecting data from visitors to their facilities to track potential coronavirus exposure and to allow/deny entry must take into consideration the fact that, by doing so, they would almost certainly be collecting data that would constitute personal information under …
Illinois Supreme Court: No ‘Actual Harm’ Required for Biometric Information Privacy Act Claims
The Illinois Supreme Court held on January 25, 2019, that plaintiffs filing suit under the Biometric Information Privacy Act—which regulates how private entities disclose and discard biometric identifiers—do not need actual damages for standing. The decision has serious implications for companies collecting biometric data from Illinois residents.
The Act provides a private right of action to individuals “aggrieved” by any violation, allowing them to seek, among other remedies, liquidated or actual damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. However, there has been widespread uncertainty as to whether an aggrieved individual asserting a private action under the Act needed to show that he or she suffered an actual injury as a result of an alleged violation, or if a violation of the Act in and of itself conveys standing.
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