Timeco Fingerprint Scans Violate Illinois Privacy Law, Class Action Says
Griffin v. TIMECO Systems, Inc.
Filed: February 1, 2023 ◆§ 8:23-cv-00222
Timeco Systems, Inc. faces a class action lawsuit that claims the company has unlawfully captured and stored the biometric data of its clients’ employees without consent.
Timeco Systems, Inc. faces a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the company has unlawfully captured and stored the biometric data of its clients’ employees without consent.
The 16-page lawsuit alleges the company, a provider of timekeeping software and human resource management services, has violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting and storing in its database the fingerprint scans of client businesses’ workers without express written consent. The suit also claims the company has breached the BIPA by failing to provide details on how long and the specific purpose for which users’ biometric data will be stored and when it will be destroyed.
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According to the case, Timeco has captured fingerprint scans—considered a biometric identifier under the BIPA—from hundreds of people via the scanners it provides to client companies for timekeeping purposes. Per the suit, Timeco touts the scanners it sells or leases in Illinois as capable of storing “up to 100,000 different fingerprints.”
Rather than utilize traditional timekeeping methods, the company employs “biometric-based time clocks,” which scan an employee’s fingerprint when they clock in and out of work and purportedly make attendance-tracking more precise, the filing relays. By doing so, Timeco maintains a “competitive advantage” in the industry and capitalizes on its use of workers’ personal information, “all while failing to comply with the minimum requirements for handling employees’ biometric data established by [the] BIPA,” the lawsuit argues.
Per the suit, businesses that use Timeco’s equipment require all new employees to have their fingerprints scanned by the reader in order to enter them into the defendant’s home database, where the data is stored indefinitely and used to track work hours and attendance.
The plaintiff, who worked at an Illinois Hilton Garden Inn between September 2021 and November 2022, was required each day to punch in and out of work by scanning her fingerprint on a Timeco device, the case explains. The woman never consented to the capture and storage of her information, nor was she ever informed by Timeco how long her biometric data would be retained or if it would be destroyed, the complaint claims.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone residing in Illinois within the past five years who had their biometric data, including fingerprints, collected, used, or otherwise obtained by Timeco through one of its biometric devices.
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