Temperature Checks that utilize Facial Recognition collect biometric information – The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) was designed to address the growing use of biometric identification technology: fingerprint or hand-print identification, retina scans, facial recognition technology, voice analysis or voice-prints, and various medical measurements. Since July 2017, multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed in Illinois state court by current and former employees alleging their employers had violated BIPA.
Under BIPA in Illinois, businesses and employers must comply with specific notice and consent requirements before they collect, store, and use biometric data. Moreover, these businesses and employers must create public data retention policies and take proactive steps to protect and restrict the disclosure of biometric data. Since the emergence of COVID-19, businesses and employers have installed facial recognition devices and temperature screening devices that utilize and store biometric data.
These devices have been marketed as a way to keep employees safe. However, employees’ biometric data must also be kept safe. These facial recognition devices utilize and store biometric information. Typically, these devices are used as time clocks that also monitor employees’ temperatures – temperature checks. Also, many businesses are using these devices to check if the employee is wearing a mask.
Businesses and employers have been utilizing these devices and body temperature check kiosks throughout Illinois. However, many of these same companies have not obtained the required written consent from employees and do not have adequate storage protocols in place to protect your biometric data. Additionally, many businesses and buildings are using this same technology to monitor and screen incoming guests.
If businesses and employers are not getting signed written consent and establishing adequate safeguards for biometric information storage, they are not in compliance with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Now, employees and guests are concerned about the privacy and security of their biometric information. The General Assembly of Illinois noted:
Biometrics … are biologically unique to the individual; therefore, once compromised, the individual has no recourse, is at heightened risk for identity theft, and is likely to withdraw from biometric-facilitated transactions.
Employees and business guests have the right to sue and collect the greater of $1,000 or actual damages for each violation negligently committed, and the greater of $5,000 or actual damages for each violation recklessly or intentionally committed. They can also collect attorneys’ fees and costs under BIPA.
If you currently work for, have worked for, or have visited a business that utilizes facial recognition time clocks or temperature checks, you should Contact Us for a FREE Consultation by filling out an online contact form or by calling (314) 669-3600. If you did not give your written consent before the collection and use of your biometric data, the business may be in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Peiffer Wolf represents employees and consumers in class action lawsuits against businesses and corporations that improperly utilize and/or store biometric data.
Peiffer Wolf represents employees and consumers in class action lawsuits against businesses and corporations around the world that improperly utilize biometric data technologies. If your employer is collecting biometric data, you may have a case. Please contact the Employee Rights lawyers at Peiffer Wolf by filling out an online contact form or by calling 314-669-3600 for a FREE Consultation.