On February 17, 2023, the exposure risk of a company found to be violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) increased to a potentially crippling amount. What was previously commonly understood to entail a maximum of $1,000 per negligent (or $5,000 for reckless) violation per plaintiff now authorizes a $5,000 fine per instance of collection, turning—for example—the nonconsensual use of an employee’s fingerprint for clocking in and out of work multiple times per day to 1,040 violations of BIPA per year if a full-time employee clocks in and/or out just four times each day, potentially resulting in estimated damages of $1,040,000 for negligent violations or $5,200,000 for reckless violationsContinue Reading BIPA Ahead: A New Ruling Introduces a Staggering Depth Beneath the Tip of the BIPA Iceberg
Illinois continues to be a hotbed of privacy litigation, in large part due to Illinois’s landmark Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which was enacted in 2008. Despite the flood of cases in the wake of Rosenbach v. Six Flags Ent. Corp., 2019 IL 123186, 129 N.E.3d 1197 (Ill. 2019), this is only the first BIPA class action lawsuit to proceed to trial. On October 12, 2022, in Richard Rogers v. BNSF Railway Company (Case No. 19-C-3083, N.D. Ill.), a federal jury in Chicago found in favor of a class of more than 44,000 truck drivers who alleged that BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) violated BIPA by unlawfully scanning employee fingerprints for identity verification purposes without giving notice and obtaining their prior written permission. U.S. District Judge Kennelly entered a judgment against BNSF for $228M in damages. This case highlights many important considerations for organizations deploying biometric technologies in Illinois, including the potential for vicarious liability for a vendor’s actions, and provides valuable insight into how damages in BIPA cases are calculated. This decision from the Illinois court demonstrates that defendants can face significant civil liability in BIPA litigation, and companies using or collecting biometric information should be aware of these risks.Continue Reading First-Ever BIPA Trial – Jury Awards Staggering $228M in Damages
As 2021 comes to a close, so does our 12 Days of Data series, but we will see you on the other side in 2022 with more posts on the top privacy and data protection issues. 2021 was an interesting year. While vaccinations spread and some sense of normalcy started to return, new strains of COVID-19 led to additional waves of shutdowns that stalled many of the debates. In 2022, we anticipate that the move toward a new normal will continue, and we will once again start to see traction on some of these data, privacy, and cybersecurity issues. As a preview, here are some of the key areas where we expect to see potential developments in 2022.
Continue Reading Closing out the 12 Days of Data: What to Expect in 2022
As we stand at the beginning of 2021 and a new presidential administration, we look back on the year behind us. Hindsight is always 2020, and 2020 may be best viewed in hindsight. We saw rapid changes in the privacy space, prompted in part by the global COVID-19 response. Infrastructure and services across multiple sectors continue to rely on data and digital platforms to function. Five prominent developments shaped the data privacy environment in 2020.
Continue Reading Privacy Year in Review: 2020’s Hottest Topics