Compass Sued For Privacy Violation Over Biometric Vending Machines

Biometric | VT Times | David Coldewey | January 30, 2020

COOK COUNTY, Ill. – An Illinois woman has sued Compass Group USA, parent company of Canteen, for collecting and storing thumbprints at is biometric vending machines without securing proper permission or indication of how long personal data will be stored, according to a Law360 report.

Plaintiff Jennifer Kessler said in a complaint filed Tuesday that she scanned her thumbprint to buy items from Compass vending machines and was never informed about any biometric data retention policy or if the company will ever delete her information.

Kessler claims her in the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court that her privacy rights were violated under a state law requiring employers to get informed consent before collecting, using and storing biometric information.

Brandon Wise of Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane, Kessler’s attorney, said she has “fallen victim to the unlawful practices of large corporations that disregard Illinois citizen’s fundamental right to privacy.”

“At relevant times, defendant has taken the rather invasive and coercive step of requiring citizens to be fingerprint scanned, and then using biometric information captured from those fingerprint scans, and data derived therefrom, to identify the citizen at defendant’s vending machines,” Kessler said in the complaint.

Kessler seeks to represent all who scanned a fingerprint or thumbprint in a Compass-owned or operated machine in Illinois during the applicable statutory period.

She is seeking $5,000 in damages for each willful violation or $1,000 for each negligent violation.

A Compass spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

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