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What is the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act?

Biometric technology is being utilized more fully in employment, banking, and security screenings and can include a fingerprint, hand scan, retina or iris scan, voiceprint, or face geometry.  Because of emerging uses and increased identity theft, Illinois enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) to protect public welfare and security by safeguarding the biometric identity data that is subject to collection, storage, use, and handling.  BIPA requires that individuals supplying biometric data must be informed in writing and provide written consent to the policy for collecting, storage and destruction of biometric identifiers before supplying any biometric data.

Collectors of biometric data must secure the biometric identifiers similar to protection of confidential and sensitive information.  Employers cannot release, sell, or otherwise disseminate the data without your written consent.  Penalties include fines up to $1,000 for negligently violating the act or $5,000 per instance or the actual cost of damages for intentionally violating provisions in the Act. Attorney’s fees may also be included in any claim for damages.


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