Kohn, Swift & Graf Investigates Biometric Data Privacy Cases

Did you know your fingerprints, retina scan, and voice print are protected by certain data privacy laws? Fingerprints, retina scans, and voice prints are considered “biometric data,” or identifiers that are biologically unique to an individual. Several states have recognized the importance of regulating the way biometric data is collected, stored, and used.

Illinois, for example, enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS 14 et. seq. in 2008 as a means of addressing the heightened risk of identity theft associated with the processing of biometric data. BIPA requires entities to obtain informed consent prior to collecting a person’s biometric data. It also permits a limited right to disclose biometric data, mandates protection obligations and retention guidelines, and prohibits profiting from the sale of an individual’s biometric data.

While Illinois’ BIPA remains the only biometrics law in the country that allows individuals to sue entities for mismanaging their biometric data, Texas, Washington, California, New York, and Arkansas have now passed or expanded their own data protection statutes to include biometric identifiers. These five states do not yet allow an individual to sue for a biometric data breach.

If you are an Illinois resident and you believe you have a claim under BIPA, or if you are a resident of another state and believe your biometric data has been involved in a data breach, or was collected or used without your consent and would like to discuss your legal options, please contact Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C. at 215-238-1700 or bgibson@kohnswift.com or amanohar@kohnswift.com.

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