Articles & Publications 05.31.24

Despite Positive Signs from Springfield, Illinois Businesses Must Remain Vigilant, Published in The Legal Intelligencer

The Legal Intelligencer recently published an article by Joseph L. Kish, a shareholder at Segal McCambridge, discussing the potential amendments to the Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008 (BIPA) and its implications for Illinois businesses.

Joseph L. Kish provides an in-depth analysis of Senate Bill 2979, which aims to address the “annihilative liability” resulting from BIPA. The amendment seeks to modernize consent requirements and streamline the assessment of damages, potentially alleviating some of the burdens on businesses.

A significant case influencing these legislative efforts is Cothron v. White Castle, where the Illinois Supreme Court held that each instance of biometric data collection and transmission without consent constituted a separate violation. This ruling led White Castle to estimate potential damages exceeding $17 billion. The proposed amendments aim to aggregate such violations on a per-employee basis rather than with each scan or transmission, potentially reducing the scale of damages.

Kish emphasizes the importance of businesses remaining vigilant despite these potential changes. “While the momentum in the General Assembly is greater than ever before, and 2024 might indeed see the scaling back of potentially annihilative liability, BIPA in its current form remains formidable, particularly in the hands of class action attorneys,” said Kish.

The article also discusses the Illinois Supreme Court’s directive to clarify the assessment of damages under BIPA, highlighting the significance of proactive compliance measures for businesses.

Read the story in full; click here (subscriber-based).