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Heartland Beef Employee Fingerprint Scans Illinois BIPA Class Action

Heartland Beef, Inc. has more than twenty locations of Arby’s franchises. Seven of them are located in Illinois, when means they are subject to that state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The complaint for this class action alleges that Heartland collects fingerprint information from employees for use in its timekeeping systems but does not meet the requirements of the law for doing so.

The class for this action is all citizens of Illinois whose fingerprints were collected, captured, or obtained by Heartland Beef in Illinois.

Biometric information is different from other private identifying information in that it is unique and cannot be changed or replaced. If an ID badge or a credit card number is stolen, the number can be changed and the badge can be replaced. However, if someone’s fingerprint information or retinal scan is stolen, it is not possible to get new fingerprints or a new retina.

Heartland requires employees to use their fingerprints to clock in and out, but also for other things, the complaint says: “Heartland Beef also subjects employees to a fingerprint scan each time an employee cashes a customer out at a register or any time a manager needs to provide a refund.”

But the complaint alleges that employees’ fingerprint scans have been taken without the informed consent that BIPA requires.

BIPA provides regulation for two types of biometric data, the complaint says. The first is for any “biometric identifier,” that is, for things like “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry” not including a list of other specific identifiers. The second is for “biometric information,” that is, “any information, regardless of how it is captured, converted, stored, or shared, based on an individual’s biometric identifier used to identify an individual.”

BIPA requires that before a private entity can collect or otherwise obtain people’s biometric identifiers or biometric information it must

  • Inform the subject that the information is being collected or stored.
  • Inform the subject of the specific purpose and length of time for which it is being collected, stored, and/or used.
  • Obtain a written release from the subject.

BIPA also governs the disclosure or sharing of the information after it is collected. In particular, the law says, “No private entity in possession of a biometric identifier or biometric information may sell, lease, trade, or otherwise profit from a person’s or a customer’s biometric identifier or biometric information.”

BIPA also requires that collectors of information must have a publicly-available retention policy.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Heartland Beef Employee Fingerprint Scans Illinois BIPA Complaint

December 17, 2020

Heartland Beef, Inc. has more than twenty locations of Arby’s franchises. Seven of them are located in Illinois, when means they are subject to that state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The complaint for this class action alleges that Heartland collects fingerprint information from employees for use in its timekeeping systems but does not meet the requirements of the law for doing so.

Heartland Beef Employee Fingerprint Scans Illinois BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

Heartland Beef Employee Fingerprint Scans Illinois BIPA Complaint

December 17, 2020

Heartland Beef, Inc. has more than twenty locations of Arby’s franchises. Seven of them are located in Illinois, when means they are subject to that state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The complaint for this class action alleges that Heartland collects fingerprint information from employees for use in its timekeeping systems but does not meet the requirements of the law for doing so.

Heartland Beef Employee Fingerprint Scans Illinois BIPA Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Biometric Data, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy