ST. LOUIS – From facial recognition to fingerprint scans, biometrics are becoming more ingrained into our daily lives. Two of the top five biometric privacy litigation cases in 2020 were from Illinois and are shaping Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) law in the state, that’s according to Law360.

BIPA was passed in Illinois in 2008. According to the ACLU of Illinois, which helped lead the initiative, the law ensures individuals are in control of their own biometric data. It also prohibits private companies from collecting the data unless they:

  • Inform the person in writing of what data is being collected or stored. (e.g. fingerprint is stored when using TouchID to log into bank account app on phone)
  • Inform the person in writing of the specific purpose and length of time the for which the data will be collected, stored and used. (e.g. fingerprint is stored for ease of logging into app and only for a duration of six months)
  • Obtain the person’s written consent. (e.g. user signs their name before sharing their fingerprint)

Besides facial recognition and fingerprint scans, biometric data includes things like retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, hand scans, DNA, and other unique biological information according to the ACLU of Illinois.

Law360 recently reported on the five most important biometric privacy litigation cases of 2020 and three of them were won by Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. Two of those cases were argued in the Seventh Circuit appeals and are shaping BIPA case law in Illinois.

“In each case, our BIPA appellate strategy and how we have implemented it has significantly impacted BIPA litigation, providing one of the few clear paths to victory for BIPA defendants,” said Shook Partner and Director of Shook’s Biometric Privacy Defense Team Melissa Siebert.

The firm has represented more than 130 companies in biometric privacy class action lawsuits. That is more than any other US firm according to court records.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, and 13 other cities across the U.S. as well as London.