The highest court in Illinois has been on a biometric privacy tear in 2023. After holding last month that claims can be brought up to five years after they accrue, the court has now held that each instance of collecting biometric information triggers a new injury and thus supports a damages claim. In the case at bar, an employer used a fingerprint scan authentication tool to validate employee access to paystubs or company computers. The court's decision means that every time an employee was required to scan her finger to gain access, she suffered a compensable injury under the state's biometric privacy law (BIPA).
Why It Matters
The plaintiff's bar has been active with BIPA claims for several years now, and that trend is unlikely to slow down based on the recent decisions out of the state supreme court. It is increasingly common for companies to use biometric information for all kinds of security and authentication, including in timekeeping and point-of-sale platforms. For any company that uses fingerprints, facial recognition, or similar means of authentication regarding Illinois employees, we strongly urge you to consult with counsel to make sure that your privacy notices and other practices are BIPA compliant.