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DS Smith Group, Liqui-Box Biometrics BIPA Violations Illinois Class Action

More and more employers are using biometrics as a way for employees to clock in and out of work shifts. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) makes a start in trying to protect biometrics and set minimal conditions for their collection, use, and storage. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that DS Smith Group plc and Liqui-Box Corporation have not met the requirements of the law at their facility in Romeoville, Illinois.

The class for this action is all individuals whose fingerprints were collected, captured, or otherwise collected or stored by DS Smith Group or Liqui-Box in Illinois.

Biometrics pose unique problems over other types of identifiers. If a credit card number or bank account information is accessed by hackers, it’s troublesome yet perfectly possible to get a card with a different number or another bank account. However, if biometrics are compromised, it is not possible to get a new set of fingerprints or a new retina to scan.

Once a person’s biometrics are compromised, the complaint says, “the individual has no recourse, is at heightened risk for identity theft, and is likely to withdraw from biometric-facilitated transactions.”

BIPA therefore has undertaken to set up a few, basic requirements for private entities that want to collect biometrics from people:

First, the entity must tell the person in writing that biometrics are being collected or stored.

Second, it must tell the person in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for which the biometrics will be collected, stored, and used.

Third, it must obtain a written release from the person.

Fourth, when storing, transmitting, and using the biometrics, it must use the same standard of care, and a manner at least as protective, as is used to protect other confidential and sensitive information.

Fifth, it must develop publicly-available retention schedules and guidelines for the permanent destruction of biometrics collected.

Finally, the entity may not sell, lease, trade, or otherwise profit from the biometrics.

In this case, the companies’ requirement that employees clock in with their fingerprints has existed since sometime around October 2017, when the plaintiff in this case, Brett Isaacson, began working for the companies at their Romeoville facility. He was required to allow them to collect his fingerprints and to use them for clocking in and out of work.

Isaacson worked for the companies until around November 2019. However, the complaint says he never received any written disclosures about the purpose or length of time his fingerprints would be stored and used, and he never gave them a signed release. He was also never provided with any information about a retention or destruction schedule that would be applied to his biometrics.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

DS Smith Group, Liqui-Box Biometrics BIPA Violations Illinois Complaint

January 8, 2021

More and more employers are using biometrics as a way for employees to clock in and out of work shifts. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) makes a start in trying to protect biometrics and set minimal conditions for their collection, use, and storage. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that DS Smith Group plc and Liqui-Box Corporation have not met the requirements of the law at their facility in Romeoville, Illinois.

DS Smith Group, Liqui-Box Biometrics BIPA Violations Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

DS Smith Group, Liqui-Box Biometrics BIPA Violations Illinois Complaint

January 8, 2021

More and more employers are using biometrics as a way for employees to clock in and out of work shifts. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) makes a start in trying to protect biometrics and set minimal conditions for their collection, use, and storage. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that DS Smith Group plc and Liqui-Box Corporation have not met the requirements of the law at their facility in Romeoville, Illinois.

DS Smith Group, Liqui-Box Biometrics BIPA Violations Illinois Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy