Employment Law and the BIPA: Keeping Your Biometric Data Safe


Requiring a fingerprint or retinal scan to access the workplace may keep everyone safer.  But what happens if those private scans aren’t kept secure?

Biometric data includes any kind of biological marker that is unique to you, and there can be penalties if it’s not kept safe.  The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) was passed by the Illinois General Assembly on October 3, 2008, and it was intended to prohibit the unlawful collection and storage of biometric data.

The BIPA requires Illinois companies to comply with the following rules:

  1. Employers must obtain informed consent before collecting or disclosing employees’ biometric data.
  2. Employers must store biometric data securely.
  3. When the data is no longer needed by the company, it must be destroyed right away.

The BIPA is the first state law to allow private parties, and not just the government, to sue violators.  Specifically, courts can order employers to pay $1,000 per violation OR $5,000 per intentional or reckless violation.

If you have questions about how the BIPA affects you, contact us for a free 30-minute consultation with an employment lawyer.

Rafael E. Lázaro is a founding member of Lázaro Law Group, LLC. With a particular emphasis on sexual harassment, Mr. Lázaro has dedicated his career to improving the workplace.

Employment Law and the BIPA: Keeping Your Biometric Data Safe

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