On January 25, 2019, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court held that, under that state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a person need not suffer actual injury or adverse effect in order to bring suit under the statute. In its decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., the Court determined that a minor child whose thumbprint was scanned as part of an amusement park’s season pass-holder program, allegedly without proper notice or consent, was an “aggrieved person” who could maintain a claim under BIPA.
BIPA imposes restrictions on how private entities collect, retain, disclose and destroy biometric identifiers, including fingerprints and other biometric information. An entity may not collect or otherwise obtain a person’s biometric identifier or information unless it: (1) informs the subject (or their legally authorized representative), in writing, that such information is being collected or stored; (2) informs the subject or their representative, in writing, of the specific purpose and length of term for which the biometric information is being collected, stored, and used; and (3) receives a written release executed by the subject or authorized representative. BIPA—the country’s only biometric privacy law with a private right of action—allows any person “aggrieved” by a violation of its provisions to bring an action against an “offending party” and to recover, for each violation, liquidated damages of $1,000 or actual damages (if greater), reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and any other relief that the court deems appropriate.
Continue Reading Individuals Need Not Allege Actual Injury to Sue for Damages Under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act