The basics of the biometric information privacy act

On behalf of Fox & Fox, S.C.

As technologies grow, so do their uses, especially in the business world. In order to ensure the proper use of technologies, there have been advancements in employment law

The Biometric Information Privacy Act has become quite popular over the last couple of years. There are some basic elements of the act that employees should be aware of.


The act is in regards to biometric information that a business collects and uses. There are a few different types of biometric identifiers that this may apply to, including:

  • Fingerprints
  • Hand or face scan
  • Iris scan
  • Voiceprint

Companies usually choose to utilize biometric identifiers as a means of creating greater protection. However, the collecting and storing of this data incorrectly could in fact endanger the privacy of the employees themselves. For this reason, the act is in place.


The Biometric Information Privacy Act lays out the obligations that employers take on by collecting biometric information of their employees for any purpose. In order for employers to be able to collect the information in the first place, they must complete a few steps:

  1. Notify the individual in writing that they are collecting biometric information
  2. Share the reason for collection of information and specific duration for its use and storage
  3. Collect the legal authorization of the individual

These are just the beginning steps. The act also denotes specific requirements for the continued use, storage and destruction of the information. It may be beneficial to review the act.

Class actions

As more employees learn about the act and recognize the lack of proper protocol, the number of class action suits is growing. However, employers are beginning to fight back. A common argument that employers try to make is that the employees have not suffered any harm or loss due to the use of the biometric information. Having a knowledgeable attorney is key for fighting an employer’s claim.

These are just a few of the basics regarding the act. If you are considering filing a suit, make sure you understand the law and secure counsel that will benefit you.

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