A proposed class action looks to “put a stop to” IMI Precision Engineering’s allegedly unauthorized collection, storage and use of employees’ biometric data.
According to the lawsuit, defendant Norgren, Inc., who operates as IMI, has required workers to scan their fingerprints for timekeeping purposes without first providing statutory disclosures or obtaining express written consent to collect and use employees’ biometric information. The case alleges IMI, a pneumatic and hydraulic cylinder manufacturer, has violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a state law designed to regulate the use of residents’ biometric information, such as fingerprints, retina and iris scans, and hand and face geometries, by private entities.
“Ultimately, Defendant disregards their workers’ statutorily protected privacy rights by violating the BIPA,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit alleges IMI has required workers to punch in and out of a biometric timekeeping system by scanning their fingerprints, as opposed to using traditional timekeeping methods such as key fobs or photo ID cards that can be changed or replaced if stolen or compromised. According to the suit, IMI’s failure to satisfy the requirements of the BIPA has exposed workers to “serious and irreversible privacy risks” given fingerprints cannot be replaced in the event a database containing the information is hacked or accessed without authorization.
The case more specifically claims IMI has run afoul of the BIPA by failing to:
Inform workers in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for which their fingerprints were being collected, stored and used;
Provide a publicly available retention schedule and guidelines outlining how and when the data will be permanently destroyed; and
Receive a written release from employees to collect, capture or obtain their fingerprints.
The plaintiff, who worked at IMI’s Machesney Park location through 2021, looks to represent anyone who had their fingerprints collected, captured, received, otherwise obtained or disclosed by the company in Illinois.
Initially filed in Winnebago County, Illinois Circuit Court on July 29, the lawsuit was removed to the state’s Northern District Court on August 30.
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