SP Plus Corporation faces a proposed class action in which a former employee claims the parking facility management company violated an Illinois privacy law by failing to provide proper disclosures before collecting workers’ fingerprints for timekeeping purposes.
The case out of Cook County circuit court explains that under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), any Illinois employer that collects workers’ biometric information, such as fingerprints, for timekeeping purposes must first provide specific disclosures that specify, among other details, what information will be collected, the purpose for which it will be collected, and when the data will be destroyed. Moreover, the lawsuit states that the employer must also secure a worker’s consent in writing before collecting their biometric information, stressing that “reckless storage” of the data can present significant privacy risks, including the possibility that the data could be “stolen and used against the employees.”
The plaintiff, who worked for the defendant between 2002 and October 2017, claims that “at no time during his employment” did SP Plus obtain his authorization to collect and store his fingerprints for company use. According to the lawsuit, none of SP Plus’s more than 10,000 employees were provided with required BIPA disclosures, nor any request for their authorization, before the company collected and stored their fingerprints.
“Employees of SP Plus were merely shown the biometric fingerprinting timeclock and told to use it to clock-in and out,” the complaint states. “Employees were never told of the potential ramifications of the fingerprinting timeclock, including, how the data would be stored, how long it would be stored, and if they were required to use the timeclock.”
The case further alleges that SP Plus failed to provide a publicly available retention schedule or guidelines for the destruction of employees’ biometric data, leaving workers to guess at how long their sensitive information would be stored by the company.
The lawsuit seeks to represent all Illinois residents who had their fingerprints collected, captured, stored, or otherwise used by SP Plus while employed by the company.