The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) regulations the storage and collection of any biometric information by private organizations. It was enacted in 2008 and covers iris/retina scans, fingerprints, hand/facial scans, voiceprints, and more. For employment contexts, it means that employers must have a written policy in place that explains how information is used/stored and get a written release from all employees to collect/use that information for employment. The biometric information can include fingerprint scanning for clocking in/out, logging into POS systems, or accessing secure areas.
Only a few states have Biometric Information Privacy Act laws in place, including Illinois, Washington, and Texas. Illinois is the only state with a private right of action. Negligent violations can cost up to $1,000 for each penalty, willful/reckless violations can cost $5,000 a penalty, and other expenses. However, because the laws are only a decade old, they can be challenging to understand, and you may want to hire a lawyer.
Complexities of Law
The problem with the BIPA is that most people have never heard of it, so they may not be aware that an employer violated it at first. When you do find out, you may not think it severe, especially if you think that a fingerprint or iris scan isn’t the same as a credit card number. These identifying marks are yours alone, which means that you should keep them private and safe.
Lawyers can help you determine what was done incorrectly, whether or not it was willful, can gather evidence on your behalf, and help you through the legal process from start to finish.
The Biometric Information Privacy Act is there for your safety, and if it was compromised, you may have the right to compensation. Visit Stephan Zouras, LLP and get free consultation with a lawyer.
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