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What Makes Biometric Data So Valuable and Why Biometric Data May Be At-Risk
Unlike a phone number, email address, or password, a website users’ biometric information can never be changed–which is precisely why it’s used to protect the most sensitive information.
Biometric information includes such readings as:
- Retina and/or iris scans;
- Fingerprints and/or hand scans;
- Facial geometry;
- DNA; and,
- Other unique biological information
A person’s biometric information should never be left to corporate interests who want to collect data and use it for commercial purposes.
That’s why legislation to protect biometric information exists that makes it unlawful for private companies to use facial recognition technology to identify and track people without their consent.
Not only has this technology proven to be both inaccurate and harmful, it also makes it tend to cause discriminatory effects–particularly against women and people of color.
We regularly hear new examples about companies that collect, share, and misuse personal information of millions of people–without their knowledge or consent.
Louis Vuitton® "Virtual Try-On" Website Tool Versus the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)
The Illinois legislature unanimously passed the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) in 2008
The Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) accomplishes two critical goals:
- Mandates that individual website visitors are in control of their own biometric data; and,
- Prohibits private companies from collecting biometric information unless they satisfy certain requirements.
Companies may only collect the biometric data from website visitors if they first:
- Inform the website visitor, in writing, of precisely which biometric data is being collected or stored and how that information will be collected.
- Inform the person, in writing, of the specific purpose and length of time for which the data will be collected, stored and used–for example, a fingerprint being stored for ease of logging into app and will only be kept for a duration of six months
The bottom line is that BIPA establishes clear standards for how companies must handle Illinois consumers’ biometric information–including prohibiting any company from sharing, selling, or otherwise profiting from website visitors’ biometric information.
We believe that victims who used the Louis Vuitton® "Virtual Try-On'' website tool and had their biometric data stolen should be able to get the maximum compensation and justice they deserve.
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