Dr. Pepper Seven Up Taking of Employees’ Biometrics BIPA Class Action

Illinois is one of the few states that have begun to pass laws governing the taking, storing, and use of biometrics with its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Its requirements are not extensive, but it appears that some companies still don’t feel they have to comply with them. The complaint for this class action alleges that a Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. facility in Illinois does not follow the law.

The class for this action is all persons who were enrolled in the biometric timekeeping system and subsequently used a biometric timeclock while working for Dr. Pepper/Seven UP in Illinois during the statutory period.

Data breaches and problems with identity theft have become all too common. But the problem with stolen biometric information promises to be even more of a headache: It’s easy enough to change your credit card number, but you can’t change your fingerprints. 

Biometric identifiers include “fingerprints, retina and iris scans, voiceprints, and scans of hand and face geometry.” More and more companies have been using biometric identifiers in financial and security settings.

The use of biometric identifiers by employers, the complaint claims, exposes employees to “serious and irreversible privacy risks.” “An illegal market already exists for biometric data[,]” the complaint says.

BIPA was passed because of this increased use of biometrics and because the ramifications of widespread use of biometrics are still unknown. Among other things, the law forbids the sale, leasing, trading, or otherwise profiting from biometric identifiers or biometric information.

Plaintiff Gio Villaneuva worked for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up. He was required to clock in and out of his shifts by scanning his fingerprint with a biometric time clock.

Under BIPA, Dr. Pepper/Seven Up should have done certain things before it undertook to “collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain” biometric identifiers for Villenueva and his fellow workers:

  • “Inform[] the subject in writing that a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected or stored…”
  • “Inform[] the subject in writing of the specific purpose and length of term for which a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected, stored, and used…” and
  • “Receive[]a  written release executed by the subject of the biometric identifier or biometric information.”

It must also provide “a publicly available retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying” Villanueva’s fingerprints and the biometric information taken from other workers.

According to the complaint, the company did none of these things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Dr. Pepper Seven Up Taking of Employees’ Biometrics BIPA Complaint

October 31, 2019

Illinois is one of the few states that have begun to pass laws governing the taking, storing, and use of biometrics with its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Its requirements are not extensive, but it appears that some companies still don’t feel they have to comply with them. The complaint for this class action alleges that a Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. facility in Illinois does not follow the law. Note that some pages of this complaint, part of a larger document supporting a Notice of Removal, could not be downloaded and are missing.

dr._pepper_employee_biometric_data_bipa_compl.pdf

Case Event History

Dr. Pepper Seven Up Taking of Employees’ Biometrics BIPA Complaint

October 31, 2019

Illinois is one of the few states that have begun to pass laws governing the taking, storing, and use of biometrics with its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Its requirements are not extensive, but it appears that some companies still don’t feel they have to comply with them. The complaint for this class action alleges that a Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. facility in Illinois does not follow the law. Note that some pages of this complaint, part of a larger document supporting a Notice of Removal, could not be downloaded and are missing.

dr._pepper_employee_biometric_data_bipa_compl.pdf
Tags: Biometric Data, Biometric Fingerprint Violations, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy