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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 fingerprint technology rather than a key fob to identify its customers in a membership database. The lawsuit claimed L.A. Tan did not obtain written consent from customers to use this data, or provide information about how it would store their biometric data and when, if ever, that data might be destroyed if customers dropped their membership, the franchise closed or other circumstances arose.

Under the settlement, L.A. Tan will use the $1.5 million fund to put processes in place to comply with the Illinois statute or destroy all biometric data it still holds and pay each class member who filed a claim with a check for $125.

A dozen lawsuits have been brought under the Illinois law including suits against Facebook, Google and Snapchat related to the way its facial recognition algorithm suggests users tag people in photos. The suits, which are pending in federal court in Northern California, accuse the companies of failing to notify users that their facial recognition software was collecting biometric data.

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