By Ada W. Dolph
Seyfarth Synopsis: Seyfarth has been working closely with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce to advance Illinois House Bill 559, sponsored by House Representatives Jim Durkin, Dan Caulkins, and Thomas M. Bennett. The bill has advanced out of Committee and is anticipated to be up for a vote this week. Seyfarth and the Chamber urge companies who operate in Illinois to contact their Illinois House Representative to urge passage of this bill.
House Bill 559 contains several key amendments to BIPA that clarify the ambiguities that have caused it to deter innovation in Illinois, but keeps intact its protections around the collection and retention of sensitive biometric information. The bill’s key provisions include:
- Allowing companies 30 days to cure any reported violations and implement policies governing the collection and storage of biometric information, quickly and efficiently achieving the goal of protecting biometric information.
- Removing the automatic statutory penalties that have deterred Illinois companies from litigating these cases through judgment.
- Requiring a plaintiff to show she was actually damaged by the alleged collection or dissemination of the biometric information.
- Clears up perplexing ambiguities in the statute, for example, the provision that could be read to require that employers terminate employees who refuse to consent to providing biometric information (requiring that an employee sign a release “as a condition of employment”).
- Ensures sensitive policies governing biometric information are shared only with parties who have reason to know.
- Makes clear that collectively bargained resolutions to these issues should be honored.
If you have any questions, please contact Ada Dolph, a partner in Seyfarth’s Chicago office.