Employers Need to Be Wary About Illinois’ Biometric Data Law

Note: Biometrics are measurements of biological (like fingerprints or retinas) and physical characteristics (voice recognition or body odor) that can be used to identify individuals. Collection of this data is becoming common. For example, your fingerprint will check you in at the gym, unlock your computer or clock you in at work. It is often collected as part of wellness programs. Only three states currently have laws regulating the collection and use of biometrics: Illinois, Texas and Washington. Several other states have considered, but failed to adopt biometric privacy laws. However, as the use of biometrics continues to grow, it is likely that laws similar to the one in Illinois will be enacted. The importance of the case discussed in this article is that persons suing for violations of the Illinois law do not have to allege or prove actual harm, a requirement of most lawsuits.

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