Earlier this year, we reported on the potential breeding ground for litigation under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). A recent decision from an Illinois state appellate panel on the different limitations periods that apply to BIPA provides guidance for companies faced with a BIPA lawsuit and the arguments they
Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) is alive and well as a potential breeding ground for litigation for tech companies. In the last month, two settlements have been announced in class actions where the plaintiffs alleged violations of BIPA in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. These settlements show that companies collecting biometrics should take care to ensure that their practices do not run afoul of BIPA’s requirements.
In late March, the French Data Protection Authority, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (“CNIL”) released a model regulation (the “Model Regulation”) governing the use of biometric access controls in the workplace. Unlike many items of personal information, biometric data (such as a person’s face or fingerprints) is unique and, if stolen or otherwise compromised, cannot be changed to avoid misuse. Under Article 9 of the GDPR, biometric data collected “for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person” is considered “sensitive” and warrants additional protections. The GDPR authorizes Member States to implement such additional protections. As such, the French Data Protection Act 78-17 of 6 January 1978, as amended, now provides that employers – whether public or private – wishing to use biometric access controls must comply with binding model regulations adopted by the CNIL, the first of which is the Model Regulation.