The use of "Biometric Data" or Biometric Identifiers is growing throughout the state of Illinois and across the country. In fact, many major national corporations have implicated the use of biometric data in the workplace, for customers entering or leaving the premises, or for biometric-facilitated financial transactions. Some states, including Illinois, have enacted specific legal compliance requirements for "private entities" (individuals, partnerships, corporations, LLCs, associations, and other groups) that use or obtain Biometric Data and other confidential and sensitive information.

In Illinois, the Biometric Information Privacy Act (the "Act") (740 ILCS 14/), provides strict requirements for compliance. Under the Act, "A private entity in possession of biometric identifiers or biometric information must develop a written policy, made available to the public, establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying biometric identifiers and biometric information when the initial purpose for collecting or obtaining such identifiers or information has been satisfied or within 3 years of the individual's last interaction with the private entity, whichever occurs first." See 740 ILCS 14/15(a).

Furthermore, the Act, which clearly identifies what may be considered "Biometric Identifiers," provides for civil remedies for violations of the Act. Remedies are available for individuals in their capacity of employee or even as a customer.

Examples of Biometric Identifiers include (740 ILCS 14/10):

  • Retina or Iris scan;
  • Fingerprint;
  • Voiceprint;
  • Scan of the hand or palm;
  • Scan of fingerprints.

Biometric Identifiers DO NOT include (740 ILCS 14/10) :

  • Writing samples;
  • Written signatures;
  • Photographs;
  • Human biological samples used for valid scientific testing or screening;
  • Demographic data;
  • Tattoo descriptions;
  • Height;
  • Weight;
  • Hair color;
  • Eye color;
  • Organ donor status;
  • Information captured or stored for health care treatment.

As the use of biometric information becomes increasingly popular, it is essential to know your rights. If you believe that your rights under the Biometric Information Privacy Act have been violated, contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation. Call today to set up your free consultation (630.232.7450), or submit an inquiry directly to an attorney using the link below.

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