Workers for a online gift retailer in Illinois, owned by Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., have reached a significant settlement to end biometric privacy claims that their employer used illegalfingerprint scanning practices. A federal judge is set to approve the $4.5 million deal after both parties reached this settlement after an 11-hour mediation this past October. More than 200,000 employees of Personalizationmall.com LLC stand to benefit from this payout.
The lawsuit specifically alleged that the finger scanning time clock system used by their employer to collect their clock in and out times did not first obtain their consent to the data and collection use. States like Illinois have strict biometric privacy laws which require explicit consent to data collection and use.Employees claim they were never presented with nor did they sign a release consenting to the platform capturing, collecting, storing or using their biometric information as required by BIPA. Each class member is expected to receive between $569 and $952. If approved, this settlement will provide significant and guaranteed monetary relief to affected employees.
Collecting biometric information is not uncommon these days.Whether its at your place of employment or in public spaces, fingerprint or retina scans are used to identify consumers and employees. However commonplace it may be, you do have rights to protect your information. Unlike a credit card, if your biometric information is compromised, there is little you can do. The collection of this information must be completed responsibly, and companies must compensate individuals and consumers if their rights have been violated under these privacy laws. If you live in Illinois and have any questions regarding your biometric privacy rights, give us a call at (212) 300-0375 for more information.