Lawsuits Mount Over Fingerprinting Privacy Rights

With the advent of new technologies, many employers have turned to biometric data to more accurately keep track of employees clocking in and out. However, the use of biometric data such as fingerprints and retina scans to track employee movements is regulated under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and many employers are coming under fire for not properly adhering to the law.

If you feel that your rights have been violated by your employer through the use of fingerprint time clocks, retina scans, or other biometric identifiers being utilized improperly, call the consumer law attorneys at Markoff Leinberger today at 888-517-9115 to schedule your free consultation.

Are Fingerprint Time Clocks Legal?

While the use of fingerprint time clocks to track employee time is legal, there are a number of rules that must be followed by the employer under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act. These rules include:

  • The employer must obtain written consent from the employee for the use of their fingerprints
  • The employer must have a policy in place for the eventual destruction of said fingerprints
  • Employees must be informed in writing of every use their fingerprints will be put to, as well as how long the fingerprints will be used for

Biometric data is incredibly sensitive, as it is a completely unique piece of identification information. While something like a social security card, pin number, or employee badge can be replaced if compromised, your fingerprints cannot be replaced. This naturally leads to concern about what employers are doing with your biometric data. If an employer is hacked or your information is sold, it could cause huge problems in the future.

These concerns are why the BIPA was created, and if your employer is not complying with the rules laid out under this act, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Many class action lawsuits are already taking place against employers such as:

  • Aramark
  • Suparossa Restaurant Group
  • Bob Evans
  • Oak Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

Why Sue for BIPA Violations?

In addition to creating a precedent for employers to be more careful with biometric data they collect, therefore helping to keep both yourself and future employees safe from potentially dangerous privacy breaches, you could be entitled to compensation if your employer is found to be in violation of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act.

Under the BIPA, you may be entitled to:

  • $1000 or actual damages for negligent violations
  • $5000 or actual damages for reckless or malicious violations

Your biometric data is your own, and allowing employers to utilize it at will with no consequences could set a dangerous precedent. We are lucky to live in Illinois, which is one of the few states with laws governing the use of biometric data by companies. Take advantage of this fact, and take action if you think that your biometric data is being utilized irresponsibly.

Schedule Your BIPA Consultation

If you work for an employer that utilizes a fingerprint time clock and you did not sign a release or receive in writing a plan for the use, storage, and eventual destruction of your fingerprint data, don’t hesitate to contact Markoff Leinberger. Call us at 888-517-9115 today to schedule your free legal consultation.

We serve clients in Chicago, Illinois and nationwide. 


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