A Chicago law firm, Edelson P.C., that bills itself as the "Plaintiff Class Action Powerhouse" has launched three (3) separate class action lawsuits in the Cook County court system for what is alleged as violations of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.).
This Act, which became effective as of October 3, 2008, was allegedly created to protect the "weary public" from the onslaught of the "use of biometrics" for identification purposes and which has created a heightened risk for identify theft. The Act has imposed various specific requirements on employers who use any "biometric identifier" (i.e. retina or iris scan; fingerprint; voiceprint; or scanning of hand or face geometry) to comply with certain basic requirements to protect the public: (740 ILCS 14/15):
- Develop a written policy, which is made available to the public, establishing any and all guidelines for dealing with biometric identifiers and biometric information.
- To inform all involved employees, in writing, that biometric identifiers or biometric information is being collected and/or stored.
- Involve the involved employee, again in writing, of the specific purpose and length of term for which the biometric identifier or biometric information will be collected, stored and/or used and
- Receive a written release, executed by any involved employee, authorizing the collection of biometric information or the use of biometric identifiers.