Collecting biometric information from drivers without their permission could cause problems for highway carriers, at least in Illinois.
A recent Illinois Court of Appeals ruling has the potential to increase liability under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, and this could lead to more class actions against carriers operating in the state, have warned transport attorneys for Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Fear in an email alert.
The BIPA law requires that private entities that obtain biometric information (such as fingerprints, facial recognition scans and voice recognition) first inform the subject in writing that their information is being collected and stored, inform the subject of the specific objective and duration of the collection. and storage, and obtain a written discharge from the subject.
The court ruled that the BIPA applies to every capture and use of a person’s fingerprints, hand scans, and facial or voice recognition, not just when the company first obtains the information. .
Biometric information is used to detect operator fatigue via in-cab cameras, to provide security locks on devices, to better manage a workforce and for other purposes. The use of these biometric scans is now common in the transportation industry, according to lawyers.
The move came after an Illinois truck driver filed a class action lawsuit against Maverick Transportation and Lytx, claiming the Drivecam dashcam illegally collects facial geometry data. The driver, Joshua Lewis, claimed the non-consensual data collection violated BIPA.
“Lewis seeks a declaration from Maverick Transportation LLC and Lytx Inc. in violation of the BIPA, as well as an injunction and other equitable relief, statutory damages of $ 5,000 for each violation of the BIPA or 1,000 $ for each negligent violation, attorney fees and the cost of the lawsuit. »The Madison-St. Clair Record, a local media outlet, reported.
Carriers operating in Illinois need to take a close look at how they use biometric data, including through facial recognition on on-board cameras, said Brandon Wiseman, owner and president of Trucksafe Consulting, in an email response to HDT. “Make sure they supplement their existing driving policies with the required information. “
“In the absence of a compliant BIPA policy, transport companies using this technology could face thousands of dollars in damages for each scan,” wrote lawyers for Scopelitis.
Illinois is the only state that regulates the use and disclosure of biometric information whose statute includes a private right of action, according to the National Law Review. (A private right of action is when a private person or entity, as opposed to a state, government or public body, has the legal right to initiate legal proceedings or take legal action. against another under the law.) Texas and Washington also have comprehensive laws governing biometric information. In other states, such as New York and Maryland, such legislation has not been passed, according to the National Law Review.