Proposed Illinois legislation could be death knell for biometric lawsuits

Proposed Illinois legislation could be death knell for biometric lawsuits

Proposed legislation would be a death knell for private class action suits under BIPA, JD Supra reports. A bill recently introduced to the Illinois State Senate would remove the right of private action from the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA), and replace it with the right to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor, enforceable by the department and the state Attorney General.

SB2134 has bi-partisan sponsorship from Senators Bill Cunningham and Jason A. Barickman, and has been re-referred to the Assignments Committee. The Assignments Committee previously referred it to the Judiciary Committee, which in turn referred it to the Subcommittee on Civil Rights.

A ruling earlier this year by the State Supreme Court in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. established procedural violations such as neglecting to obtain consent constitute harm, and therefore legal standing, under BIPA. Law firms have added specific practices and increased their capacity to deal with the numerous class actions resulting from the law, which are estimated at more than 200 and growing.

Another in the long line of BIPA lawsuits has been filed, this one against World Wide Technology LLC, by an employee who alleges she did not consent to have her fingerprints stored by the biometric time and attendance system used by the company, the Madison Record reports.

The suit is proposed as a class action, and plaintiff Connie Young is seeking the maximum damages of $1,000 for each negligent violation and $5,000 for each willful and reckless one, and a trial by jury.

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