By now, every Employer in the State of Illinois is aware of the Illinois Supreme Court Decision in the Rosenbach v. Six Flaggs Entertainment Corporation and the State Supreme Court interpretation that, under the context of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, a Plaintiff does not need to show an "actual injury" to process a claim, merely establishing that the Employer has not complied with the requirements of the Act." Those requirements are of informing Employees in writing of the specific policy for the collection of Biometric data; providing a retention schedule and guidance for permanent deletion of Biometric Information and, most importantly, procuring from the involved Employee a written release authorizing the collection of Biometric Information. If these procedures are not followed, the Employee would have a claim. As well, based on newspaper reports and an article written by this author for the Illinois Client Update, the State Legislature is considering "amending the Biometric Information Privacy Act to remove the private cause of action and make the Act solely enforceable by the Illinois Attorney General. Whether or not that Amendment will pass the Illinois Legislature is subject for debate since the Plaintiff's Lawyer's Bar seems to have a very close rapport with the Democratic Majority in the State House and Senate.
As Employers with operations within the State of Illinois are keenly aware, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.) prohibits a business from collecting and/or capturing and/or otherwise obtaining a person's "Biometric Identifier" or "Biometric Information" unless it satisfies specific policy creation and notice and consent from the involved Employees to collect the information.
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ("BIPA") is yet another Illinois law drafted with ambiguities which beg, unfortunately, for litigation. Where a statute is drafted with holes of ambiguity, (and this one has many), it is up to the judiciary to fill those voids, and that, of course, means costly litigation. One ambiguity was recently clarified by the Illinois Supreme Court in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. 2019 IL 123186. Rosenbach is bad news for employers.