L.A. Tan Enterprise Inc. recently settled a lawsuit alleging it had violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA). According to the complaint, the company used fingerprint scans to identify its members without getting proper consent or providing disclosures detailing how the company uses, stores, and shares biometric data. As part of the settlement, L.A. Tan agreed to implement policies to bring its biometric data collection and storage practices into compliance with BIPA, or destroy all non-compliant biometric data that it still holds. The company will also pay $1.5 million.
BIPA, the first biometric-specific privacy protection law in the country, requires companies that collect biometric data—defined in the law to include physical identifiers such as DNA and fingerprints—to obtain written consent from the individuals and disclose how the collector will use and store the information. As we have reported previously, these requirements have spawned dozens of similar class action lawsuits in Illinois.
TIP: Companies operating in Illinois that collect biometric data, including fingerprints, should review their collection practices.