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No pre-emption of Illinois biometric data privacy lawsuits from workers’ comp

Macy’s knocks out some claims, TikTok settlement held up
No pre-emption of Illinois biometric data privacy lawsuits from workers’ comp

Illinois’ worker compensation laws do not pre-empt its biometric data privacy laws, the State Supreme Court has ruled in a 7-0 verdict which effectively foreclosing one defense against claims under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The verdict upholding a previous ruling against Symphony Bronzeville Park LLC refers to the text of BIPA, which shows the legislature had taken employee situations in which complaints could arise into account, Law360 writes.

The high court’s ruling notes that whether the balance is appropriate to employment scenarios is “a question more appropriately addressed to the legislature.”

A bill has been introduced in the state legislature, meanwhile, which would amend BIPA to refer back to the state’s Workers Compensation Act for relief entitlements, as Business Insurance reports.

H.B. 5396, which would also amend the Workers Compensation Act to accord with the BIPA changes, was introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Durkin.

Some claims against Macy’s rejected, most approved

A motion by retailer Macy’s to have a raft of biometric data privacy claims against it thrown out has been mostly unsuccessful, Law Street reports.

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman threw out the charges under the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and New York common law, which Macy’s called “blatant forum-shopping,” but allowed the multi-district litigation’s BIPA claims to proceed.

The plaintiffs “sufficiently stated an injury-in-fact under BIPA 15(c)” with the allegation that Macy’s benefited from its loss prevention and customer experience-improvement program using Clearview AI’s app, and likewise upheld claims under BIPA 12(b)(6).

A right to publicity claim under California law has standing, according to the ruling. The disclosure of personal information does not entail sufficient loss for a property loss claim under UCL, however.

Tiktok plaintiff objects to settlement

A $92 million settlement agreement reached by TikTok to settle biometric data privacy claims may seem like a lot of money, but between the 89 million potential claimants and the $34.3 billion the app made in 2020, an objection has been filed that the agreement under-compensates class members, according to Law Street.

Facebook added $100 million to its BIPA settlement, but that was after a direct challenge from the judge. Objector’s representative Edelson PC was also a plaintiffs’ representative in the Facebook case.

The complaint also suggests that the attorneys’ fee of 30 percent is too high, and objects that the deadline for motions on attorneys’ fees should come before the deadline for objections.

Online interview platform hit

HireVue is alleged to have violated BIPA by collecting biometric data from users without written consent, according to Top Class Actions.

In addition to informed consent violations, the potential class action alleges HireVue disseminated biometric data to third-parties, namely data storage vendors, and did not provide a data retention schedule.

A similar suit was filed against Pearson Education over its online proctoring service.

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