Pretium Packaging, LLC is the defendant in a proposed class action lawsuit in which two former employees claim the plastic container manufacturer has improperly collected workers’ fingerprints for timekeeping purposes without providing disclosures required under Illinois law.
Alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), the case claims the defendant requires new employees to scan their fingerprints in the company’s biometric timekeeping system instead of utilizing more traditional means of authentication such as key fobs or ID cards. According to the case, this method of tracking work time exposes employees to “serious and irreversible privacy risks” as an individual’s biometric data cannot be changed if compromised. The suit argues that if the defendant’s database were hacked or otherwise exposed, “employees have no means by which to prevent identity theft and unauthorized tracking.”
Recognizing the privacy risks linked to the collection of biometric information such as fingerprints, the Illinois legislature passed the BIPA in 2008, the case says. The lawsuit argues that Pretium Packaging, however, has refused to adhere to the law’s strict requirements by:
Failing to inform workers of the purpose and length of time for which their fingerprints will be collected, stored and used;
Failing to provide a publicly available retention schedule and guidelines for the destruction of such data; and
Failing to secure a written release from workers to collect, capture or otherwise obtain their fingerprints.
The lawsuit seeks to represent Illinois residents whose fingerprints were collected, captured, received, obtained, or disclosed by Pretium while residing in Illinois.