The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA) details legal and illegal use of biometric data and the consequences of violations. Since its inception in 2008, several class action complaints have been filed under the BIPA.
The consumer law attorneys at Markoff Leinberger are committed to protecting consumer privacy and holding companies responsible for misuse of biometric information. If your rights under the BIPA have been violated by your employer or another company, you may be entitled to compensation.
What is BIPA?
The BIPA is an Illinois state law put in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure and use of your biometric identity. Biometric identifiers include fingerprints, voiceprints, and scans of a hand, face, retina, or iris.
The BIPA acknowledges that this new frontier of identification poses multiple potential threats to consumer privacy and security and thus provides recourse for consumers whose privacy rights are violated. The consequences of violating this act can include:
- The greater of $1,000 or actual damages in cases of recovery against a negligent private entity.
- The greater of $5,000 or actual damages in cases of recovery against a private entity who engages in reckless or willful violation of the act.
- Recovery of attorneys’ fees and other legal costs.
- Additional relief or injunction.
BIPA Class Action Complaints
BIPA violations can have serious consequences for consumers. The numerous complaints filed under BIPA illustrate the importance of the act in holding companies accountable for the storage and management of biometric data. The following are some recent class actions filed under the BIPA:
- Class Action Lawsuit against Vimeo – A class action suit was filed against Vimeo on September 20, 2019 for violations of four BIPA requirements for biometric data collection and storage. The suit alleges that Vimeo’s video editor, Magisto, has gathered and retained “highly detailed geometric maps” of thousands of Magisto users without user consent.
- Class Action against Fillmore Hospitality – In May 2019, a complaint was brought against Fillmore Hospitality, LLC. In the case of Lydon v. Fillmore Hospitality, LLC, Fillmore Hospitality faces allegations of BIPA violations for biometric data collected for employee tracking. The plaintiffs allege that employees of Fillmore Hospitality, LLC were not informed in writing as to how the biometric data would be stored and used. Further, no written consent was given by the plaintiffs regarding the treatment of the biometric data.
- Class Action against Six Flags – A mother filed a lawsuit against Six Flags in regard to a fingerprint taken from her son related to a season pass. The suit states that Six Flags failed to disclose why her son’s fingerprint was taken and for what duration of time the biometric data would be stored.
The state appellate court ruled that because there was no actual damage, just a violation of the BIPA, that there were no grounds for a lawsuit. However, on January 25, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the defendant’s violation of BIPA was adequate grounds for legal action, even though the plaintiff did not present evidence of actual injury.
Contact Us for a Free Class Action Consultation
Privacy protections must be in place and upheld in order to protect consumers. If your rights under BIPA have been violated, contact the experienced attorneys at Markoff Leinberger for a free consultation to find out your options for pursuing justice. We serve clients in the greater Chicago area and throughout the U.S. Call us at 312-726-4162.