Lifespace Violations of Biometrics Rules BIPA Class Action

Biometric information is sensitive in a way that things like credit card numbers aren’t. If your credit card number is stolen, you can cancel it and get a new credit card with a different number. But if your fingerprints are stolen, you can’t get a new set of fingers. Still, more and more companies are taking, storing, and using biometric data from their customers or employees. The complaint alleges that Lifespace Communities, Inc., which operates two facilities in Illinois, collected the biometric data of employees without fulfilling the requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The class for this action is all individuals who work for Lifespace in Illinois whose fingerprints were collected, captured, received, or otherwise obtained, maintained, stored, or disclosed by Lifespace during the applicable statutory period.

Why does Illinois, of all the states, have a law on biometrics?

In the early 2000s, some corporations began testing biometric-facilitated financial transactions in Chicago and other areas of the state. In 2007, a biometrics company called Pay by Touch went bankrupt. Illinois had to face the possibility that the biometric information of millions of people, with links to their financial information, might be sold or otherwise distributed to third parties. Illinois enacted BIPA the following year.

According to the complaint, Lifespace requires, as a condition of employment, that employees have their fingerprints scanned, with the prints to be used with a biometric timekeeping device.

BIPA’s requirements are clear and not terribly stringent. They require that if Lifespace wants to collect biometric data, it must do certain things:

  • Properly inform the subjects in writing of the purpose and length of time for which their fingerprints will be collected, stored, and used.
  • Provide a publicly-available retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying the fingerprint information.
  • Get a written release from the subjects to collect, store, disseminate, or use their fingerprints.
  • Get consent from the subjects to disclose, redisclose, or otherwise disseminate their fingerprints to a third party.

The complaint alleges that Lifespace did not meet any of these requirements when it took the fingerprints of Sabrina Bedford, the plaintiff in this class action.

It did not inform her of the purpose or length of time for which her fingerprints would be kept; it did not receive a written release from her; it did not publish a publicly-available retention schedule; and it did not obtain her consent before sharing her information with third parties.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Lifespace Violations of Biometrics Rules BIPA Complaint

August 4, 2020

Biometric information is sensitive in a way that things like credit card numbers aren’t. If your credit card number is stolen, you can cancel it and get a new credit card with a different number. But if your fingerprints are stolen, you can’t get a new set of fingers. Still, more and more companies are taking, storing, and using biometric data from their customers or employees. The complaint alleges that Lifespace Communities, Inc., which operates two facilities in Illinois, collected the biometric data of employees without fulfilling the requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Lifespace Violations of Biometrics Rules BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

Lifespace Violations of Biometrics Rules BIPA Complaint

August 4, 2020

Biometric information is sensitive in a way that things like credit card numbers aren’t. If your credit card number is stolen, you can cancel it and get a new credit card with a different number. But if your fingerprints are stolen, you can’t get a new set of fingers. Still, more and more companies are taking, storing, and using biometric data from their customers or employees. The complaint alleges that Lifespace Communities, Inc., which operates two facilities in Illinois, collected the biometric data of employees without fulfilling the requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Lifespace Violations of Biometrics Rules BIPA Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Biometric Data, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy