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Posts by Erin S. Johnson

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Photo of Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog Erin S. Johnson
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ejohnson@dykema.com
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Face/Off: The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act Spawns a Wave of Class Action Lawsuits

After almost 10 years since its enactment, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) has spawned a new wave of litigation against employers centered on biometric timekeeping technology. BIPA was enacted to regulate the collection, use, storage, retention and destruction of biometric information, such as fingerprints and hand or face scans, among other things. Although the law’s primary focus was to protect consumer biometric information, the vast majority of recent class action lawsuits have been filed against employers that use biometric timeclocks, e.g., fingerprint and handprint machines, to track employee hours.

Although other states have enacted biometric privacy statutes, BIPA is the only biometric privacy law in the nation which allows for a private right of action and recovery of liquidated damages to any “person aggrieved.” Under the statute, a plaintiff may recover liquidated damages of up to $5,000 for each BIPA violation. Since at least 2015, more than 100 class action lawsuits have targeted employers primarily in Illinois state and federal courts. Read More ›