First settlement reached under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act

Last week, a judge in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago issued final approval for a $1.5 million settlement between L.A. Tan Enterprises Inc. and a class of the franchise’s customers who claim it failed to properly handle their biometric information, according to a report by Bloomberg Law. It is the first settlement reached under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires companies to gain consent before collecting a person’s biometric data. According to reports, the L.A. Tan franchise used

Israeli government’s call for mandatory biometric ID system met with backlash

Israeli interior minister Aryeh Deri has called for all Israeli citizens to obtain a mandatory biometric identity card, with their personal information stored on a national digital database, according to a report by The Times of Israel. As detailed in a memorandum, in the next two weeks citizens will be permitted to comment on the new ID system. Following this period, the bill will go to a ministerial committee, and if approved, it will be put to a vote in

German draft law would allow use of facial recognition for public surveillance

Germany’s latest draft law could infringe on the public’s data privacy rights if it is passed, according to a report from the nation’s union for data protection report cited by Digital Trends. Under the proposed legislation, the German government would no longer be required to inform citizens about the kind of data collected on them if such a revelation “disadvantages the well-being” of the country or might “seriously endanger” business activities. Additionally, the law would allow the government to use

French watchdog warns government about building biometric database

Following previous policing efforts against Facebook Inc and Google on data privacy, French watchdog organization CNIL is working towards ensuring that the government does not breach the privacy of citizens, according to a report by The Business Times. CNIL president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin recently warned the French government against building a central database with fingerprints, photos and other personal information of nearly all its citizens. “Fighting terrorism is an undeniable priority and it may call for new tools, but new deployments

Bulgarian court rules against fingerprint identification in hospitals

Bulagria’s Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that fingerprint identification in hospitals is not valid, according to a report by the Sofia News Agency. Previously reported, it became mandatory on November 1st for patients using the National Health Insurance Fund to cover treatment expenses to verify their identity via fingerprint recognition when checking into hospitals in Bulgaria. The implementation of fingerprint recognition was planned for the beginning of October but the deadline was extended due to some medical establishments not purchasing

Facebook says Illinois biometrics privacy law violates constitution

Facebook Inc. says an Illinois biometrics law that prevents interstate-sharing of facial recognition data violates the U.S. Constitution ( In re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litig. , N.D. Cal., No. 15-cv-03747, answer, 11/11/16 ), according to a report by Bloomberg BNA. Aside from Illinois, Texas and Connecticut are the only other states that have biometrics laws. Despite this, several consumer-facing companies are trying to monetize or store and analyze biometric data. In August, three class actions against Facebook over allegations

EPIC files FOIA lawsuit against FBI over biometric database system

Privacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit against the FBI, earlier this month, to force the agency to release all documents related to its plan to provide the Department of Defense with access to biometric information, according to a report by On the Wire. The biometric data — which includes fingerprints, iris images, and facial photos — is stored on the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system, which the agency has been using for a few years. “With

Singapore introducing iris scans at land and sea checkpoints for identity verification

Iris recognition technology will be introduced at Singapore’s land and sea checkpoints within the next two years to boost identity verification methods, according to a recent report in Channel NewsAsia. Just last week Singapore’s Parliament passed amendments to the National Registration Act to strengthen the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Photos and fingerprints are currently used to identify travellers at Singapore’s checkpoints, but starting next year, the ICA will start collecting iris images from

France unveils plans for ID database containing biometric data of 60M citizens

France unveiled last week plans to build a single, unified identification database containing the biometric data from the passports and identity cards of 60 million citizens, according to a report by Ars Technica UK. The measure went uncontested in the French National Assembly as it was announced on a national holiday by government decree. The proposed database will contain the person’s name, date and place of birth, gender, eye color, height, address, photograph, fingerprints, email address, along with the names,

Google’s voice recognition feature could be exploited by criminals and police

Google’s decision to run its Trusted Voice feature – which allows users to unlock their phones via their phone — by default on Pixel smartphones has made it easier for both criminals and law enforcement agencies to break into compatible Android devices, according to a report by Forbes. The voice recognition feature allows users to unlock their phones by stating the voice command, “OK Google”, instead of entering a passcode. Using Trusted Voice, criminals could potentially edit snippets of recordings