Employer faces lawsuit under BIPA
10 October 2017 13:17 GMT

Packaged food manufacturer Peacock Food has become the latest firm to a class action suit under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), with employment conditions the focus this time.

An employee has alleged to have violated the law when it collected and stored employee fingerprints in its electronic time tracking system without employees’ written consent. As we have reported previously, BIPA has spawned a wave of class action lawsuits in Illinois as the use of biometrics for secure authorization continues to grow.

The first biometric-specific privacy law in the country, BIPA requires companies that collect biometric data (such as fingerprints, iris scans, and DNA) to obtain written consent from the data subjects and to publicly disclose how the collector will use and store such information.

The employees allege that the company required employees to scan their fingerprints to clock in and clock out each day, but never explained to employees why the fingerprints were being used, how long the fingerprints would be stored, or how they would ultimately be destroyed. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that Peacock never asked the employees for their permission.

Numerous companies including Facebook, Google, Shutterfly, Six Flags and Snapchat have all faced lawsuits under BIPA.