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Cerner Corp. RxStation Use of Biometrics BIPA Illinois Class Action

Biometric identifiers include handprints, fingerprints, facial geometry, and retinas. Biometric information is information based on any of these. Cerner Corporation offers health information technology that is “biometrically enabled,” including its RxStation. The complaint alleges that the company does not obey the requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) when taking, storing, and using biometric information.

The class for this action is all individuals whose biometrics were captured, collected, stored, or otherwise used, by or on behalf of Cerner Corporation, in Illinois, at any time within the applicable limitations period.

Biometrics are different from other forms of identifying information. The complaint quotes the Illinois Legislature as saying that “even sensitive information like Social Security numbers can be changed. Biometrics, however, are biologically unique to each individual and, once compromised, such individual has no recourse, is at heightened risk of identity theft, and is likely to withdraw from biometric facilitated transactions.”

The complaint adds, “The risk is compounded when a person’s biometrics are also associated with their other personally identifiable information.

Cerner provides software, hardware, and services to medical providers around the country. One of its products is the RxStation, which the complaint calls “an automated medication dispensing cabinet.” Those who wish to use the RxStation must have their fingerprints scanned each time they want to gain access. The RxStation is connected to Cerner’s servers.

The plaintiff in this case, Jenora Kyles, was employed as a nurse at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, Illinois. In the course of her work, she had to register her fingerprint so that she could access the RxStation, then allow her fingerprint to be taken each time she accessed the RxStation.

Under BIPA, businesses who wish to take or use biometrics must do certain things:

  • Tell subjects, in writing, that their biometrics are to be collected or stored.
  • Tell subject, in writing, of the specific purpose for which the biometrics are being collected, stored, or used.
  • Get a written release from each subject.
  • Publish publicly-available guidelines for permanently destroying the biometrics.

The complaint alleges that Cerner collects, stores, and uses biometrics without fulfilling these basic requirements.

BIPA went into effect in 2008. The complaint states, “Compliance with BIPA is straightforward and may be accomplished through a single, signed sheet of paper.”

The complaint alleges that Cerner “knew, or should have known, that distributing its products in Illinois would result in its collection of Illinois citizens’ biometric data, and thus subject it to the requirements of BIPA.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Cerner Corp. RxStation Use of Biometrics BIPA Illinois Complaint

October 24, 2021

Biometric identifiers include handprints, fingerprints, facial geometry, and retinas. Biometric information is information based on any of these. Cerner Corporation offers health information technology that is “biometrically enabled,” including its RxStation. The complaint alleges that the company does not obey the requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) when taking, storing, and using biometric information.

Cerner Corp. RxStation Use of Biometrics BIPA Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

Cerner Corp. RxStation Use of Biometrics BIPA Illinois Complaint

October 24, 2021

Biometric identifiers include handprints, fingerprints, facial geometry, and retinas. Biometric information is information based on any of these. Cerner Corporation offers health information technology that is “biometrically enabled,” including its RxStation. The complaint alleges that the company does not obey the requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) when taking, storing, and using biometric information.

Cerner Corp. RxStation Use of Biometrics BIPA Illinois Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Biometric Data, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy