Another BIPA lawsuit over biometric time and attendance system

A proposed class action has been brought by a former employee of Illinois steel maker A. Finkl & Sons Co. over its handprint-based employee timekeeping system, reports Law360.

The suit is the latest litigation brought under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, which makes companies liable for damages if they fail to properly keep people informed about the use of their biometric identifiers.

It is alleged that Finkl violated BIPA when it didn’t ask employees for permission to use the handprints or tell them how long the information would be retained. The suit also claims the company failed to obtain written releases from employees for the information and is lacking a written policy outlining how long the information is kept and when it will be destroyed.

The suit against Finkl also names its timekeeping vendor, ADP LLC, and claims that Finkl shared the handprints with ADP and other unnamed parties.

The suit seeks statutory damages of $5,000 per willful or reckless violation or $1,000 for each negligent violation, plus injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees.

Experts have said that the recent wave of lawsuits under the decade-old law is due to the increase in popularity of biometric workforce management solutions. With the recent barrage of BIPA-related lawsuits brought to Illinois courts, several top privacy attorneys have discussed what areas defendants should seek insurance coverage for the potentially high-stakes claims.

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