A proposed class action alleges Dhaliwal Labs North has illegally used a biometric time clock system to collect and disclose employees’ fingerprints without consent at its Bedford Park, Illinois, manufacturing plant.
The 15-page case claims the personal care and medical device manufacturing company has run afoul of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting, without express permission, employees’ fingerprints, which they must scan to clock in and out at its facility. The lawsuit, filed by two former employees, also alleges Dhaliwal Labs North failed to secure permission before disseminating workers’ biometric data to Paycom, a payroll service.
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Under the BIPA, private entities must obtain consent in the form of a written release before collecting, using, modifying, selling or storing individuals’ biometric identifiers, which include “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry,” the complaint explains. Additionally, the suit states that companies must publish a publicly available written retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying consumers’ biometric data, and inform Illinois residents in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for which their biometric information is being collected, stored or used.
Enacted in 2008, the BIPA protects Illinois citizens’ right to privacy and control over their unchangeable biometric information.
“[U]nlike other so-called personal identifiers, such as Social Security numbers, biometrics are biologically unique to each individual and cannot be altered or changed once compromised, such that, once this sensitive data is compromised, an individual is at heightened risk for identity theft,” the case stresses.
The lawsuit looks to represent all current and former employees of Dhaliwal Labs North who had their biometric data captured and/or otherwise obtained by the company’s use of fingerprint and/or thumbprint technology without informed written consent.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.