Posts tagged Illinois.
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On April 7, 2024, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released a discussion draft of the latest federal privacy proposal, known as American Privacy Rights Act (“APRA” or the “Act”). The APRA builds upon the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (“ADPPA”), which was introduced as H.R. 8152 in the 117th Congress and advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee but did not become law. As the latest iteration of a federal privacy proposal, the APRA signals that some members of Congress continue to seek to create a federal standard in the wake of—and in spite of—the ever-growing patchwork of state privacy laws.

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On February 17, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an opinion in Cothron v. White Castle Systems, Inc., in response to a certified question from the Seventh Circuit, ruling that the plain language of Section 15(b) and 15(d) of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (“BIPA”) shows that a claim accrues under BIPA with every scan or transmission of biometric identifiers or biometric information without prior informed consent. 

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On February 10, 2023, an Illinois federal district court ordered the dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit alleging that an online tool that allowed users to virtually try on sunglasses violated the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (“BIPA”).

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On February 2, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded a judgment of the lower appellate court in a class action lawsuit alleging violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”).

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On January 3, 2023, an Illinois state court entered a preliminary approval order for a settlement of nearly $300,000 in a class action lawsuit against Whole Foods for claims that the company violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). The plaintiffs alleged that Whole Foods unlawfully collected voiceprints from employees who worked at the company’s distribution centers. 

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On December 20, 2022, a former employee in Illinois brought a class action suit against Five Guys Enterprises, LLC (“Five Guys”), a burger chain, alleging that Five Guys violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). 

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On November 30, 2022, the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgement in favor of defendant, J&M Plating, Inc., for alleged violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). In Mora v. J&M Plating, Inc., the plaintiff claimed that J&M Plating had violated BIPA by collecting workers’ fingerprints without a proper data retention and destruction policy for biometric information.

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On October 12, 2022, a federal jury found BNSF Railway, operator of one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America, violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) in the first ever BIPA case to go to trial. In Richard Rogers v. BNSF Railway Company (Case No. 19-C-3083, N.D. Ill.), truck drivers’ fingerprints were scanned for identity verification purposes when visiting BNSF rail yards to pick up and drop off loads. The jury found that BNSF recklessly or intentionally violated the law 45,600 times when it collected such fingerprint scans without written, informed permission or notice.

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On July 28, 2022, a federal judge approved TikTok’s $92 million class action settlement of various privacy claims made under state and federal law. The agreement will resolve litigation that began in 2019 and involved claims that TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) and the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) by improperly harvesting users’ personal data. U.S. District Court Judge John Lee of the Northern District of Illinois also awarded approximately $29 million in fees to class counsel.

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On March 25, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved a $1.1 million settlement with TikTok Inc. (“TikTok”) to resolve claims that TikTok collected children’s data and sold it to third parties without parental consent. The plaintiffs sued TikTok in 2019, alleging that TikTok did not seek verifiable parental consent prior to collecting personal information of children under 13 on the popular video platform in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The complaint further alleged that TikTok disclosed and sold user data, including lip-syncing videos created by children who used a TikTok-affiliated app called Musical.ly, to third parties, without parental consent. The $1.1 million settlement will be distributed among class members, who consist of U.S. users who, prior to the settlement’s effective date and while under the age of 13, registered for or used TikTok or Musical.ly.

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On September 17, 2021, in Tims v. Black Horse Carriers Inc., Ill. App. Ct., 1st Dist., No. 1-20-563, the Illinois Appellate Court, in a case of first impression at the appellate level, addressed the statute of limitations under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), holding that a five-year period applies to BIPA claims that allege the failure to (1) provide notice of the collection of biometric data, (2) take care in storing or transmitting biometric data, or (3) develop a publicly-available retention and destruction schedule for biometric data. The Court also held that a one-year period applies to claims alleging the improper disclosure of, or improper sale, lease, trade or profit from, biometric data.

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On November 12, 2020, Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois rejected Apple Inc.’s (“Apple’s”) motion to dismiss a class action alleging its facial recognition software violates Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). Judge Rosenstengel agreed with Apple, however, that the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over portions of the complaint.

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Facebook disclosed on January 29, 2020, that it has agreed to pay $550,000,000 to resolve a biometric privacy class action filed by Illinois users under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). BIPA is an Illinois law enacted in 2008 that governs the collection, use, sharing, protection and retention of biometric information. In recent years, numerous class action lawsuits have been filed under BIPA seeking statutory damages ranging from $1,000 per negligent violation to $5,000 per reckless or intentional violation.

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On August 8, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowed a class action brought by Illinois residents to proceed against Facebook under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) (740 ICLS 14/1, et seq.).

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On June 14, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Facebook, holding that the company did not violate the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) (740 ICLS ¶¶ 15, 20).

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The Illinois legislature recently passed the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act, which prohibits an Illinois employer from using artificial intelligence (“AI”) to evaluate job interview videos unless the employer complies with certain requirements.

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On May 27, 2019, the Illinois General Assembly voted 79-32 to approve Senate Bill 1624, an amendment to the Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). The bill’s sponsor, Senator Suzy Glowiak (D), expects Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) to sign the bill into law in short order. The amendment had already unanimously passed the state Senate last month.

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The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that an allegation of “actual injury or adverse effect” is not required to establish standing to sue under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14 (“BIPA”). This post discusses the importance of the ruling to current and future BIPA litigation.

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As we previously reported in February 2017, an Illinois federal judge denied a motion to dismiss two complaints brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14 (“BIPA”) by individuals who alleged that Google captured, without plaintiff’s consent, biometric data from facial scans of images that were uploaded onto Google Photos. The cases subsequently were consolidated, and on December 29, 2018, the Northern District of Illinois dismissed the case on standing grounds, finding that despite the existence of statutory standing under BIPA, neither plaintiff had claimed any injury that would support Article III standing.

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On November 20, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could shape future litigation under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). BIPA requires companies to (i) provide prior written notice to individuals that their biometric data will be collected and the purpose for such collection, (ii) obtain a written release from individuals before collecting their biometric data and (iii) develop a publicly available policy that sets forth a retention schedule and guidelines for deletion once the biometric data is no longer used for the purpose for which it was collected (but for no more than three years after collection). BIPA also prohibits companies from selling, leasing or trading biometric data.

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Recently, the Personal Data Collection and Protection Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) was introduced to the Chicago City Council. The Ordinance would require businesses to (1) obtain prior opt-in consent from Chicago residents to use, disclose or sell their personal information; (2) notify affected Chicago residents and the City of Chicago in the event of a data breach; (3) register with the City of Chicago if they qualify as “data brokers”; (4) provide specific notification to mobile device users for location services; and (5) obtain prior express consent to use geolocation data from mobile applications.

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On June 13, 2017, Judge Andrea R. Wood of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice a putative consumer class action filed against Barnes & Noble. The case was first filed after Barnes & Noble’s September 2012 announcement that “skimmers” had tampered with PIN pad terminals in 63 of its stores and exposed payment card information. The court had previously dismissed the plaintiffs’ original complaint without prejudice for failure to establish Article III standing. After the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, the plaintiffs filed an almost identical amended complaint that alleged the same causes of action and virtually identical facts. Although the court found that the first amended complaint sufficiently alleged Article III standing, the plaintiffs nevertheless failed to plead a viable claim. The court therefore dismissed the first amended complaint under Rule 12(b)(6). 

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On May 16, 2017, the Governor of the State of Washington, Jay Inslee, signed into law House Bill 1493 (“H.B. 1493”), which sets forth requirements for businesses who collect and use biometric identifiers for commercial purposes. The law will become effective on July 23, 2017. With the enactment of H.B. 1493, Washington becomes the third state to pass legislation regulating the commercial use of biometric identifiers. Previously, both Illinois and Texas enacted the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS 14) (“BIPA”) and the Texas Statute on the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. §503.001), respectively.

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On March 17, 2017, retailer Neiman Marcus agreed to pay $1.6 million as part of a proposed settlement (the “Settlement”) to a consumer class action lawsuit stemming from a 2013 data breach that allegedly compromised the credit card data of approximately 350,000 customers.

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On January 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) entered into a resolution agreement with Presence Health stemming from the entity’s failure to notify affected individuals, the media and OCR within 60 days of discovering a breach. This marks the first OCR settlement of 2017 and the first enforcement action relating to untimely breach reporting by a HIPAA covered entity.

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On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) entered into a resolution agreement with Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”), the largest health care system in Illinois, over alleged HIPAA violations. The $5.5 million settlement with Advocate is the largest settlement to date against a single covered entity.

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A federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied Neiman Marcus’ motion to dismiss in Remijas et al. v. Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, 1:14-cv-01735.  As we previously reported, the Seventh Circuit reversed Judge James B. Zagel’s earlier decision dismissing the class action complaint based on Article III standing. At that time the Seventh Circuit declined to analyze dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) due to, among other reasons, the district court’s focus on standing.

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On October 23, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, in large part, upheld Target’s assertion of the attorney-client privilege and work-product protections for information associated with a privileged, internal investigation of Target’s 2013 data breach.

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On September 17, 2015, the Seventh Circuit rejected Neiman Marcus’ petition for a rehearing en banc of Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, No. 14-3122. In Remijas, a Seventh Circuit panel found that members of a putative class alleged sufficient facts to establish standing to sue Neiman Marcus following a 2013 data breach that resulted in hackers gaining access to customers’ credit and debit card information. No judge in regular active service requested a vote on the rehearing petition. Additionally, all members of the original panel voted to deny rehearing. As we previously reported, and according to The Practitioner's Handbook for Appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, “it is more likely to have a petition for writ of certiorari granted by the Supreme Court than to have a request for en banc consideration granted” in the Seventh Circuit.

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On August 3, 2015, Neiman Marcus requested en banc review of the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, No. 14-3122. As we previously reported, the Seventh Circuit found that members of a putative class alleged sufficient facts to establish standing to sue Neiman Marcus following a 2013 data breach. During that breach, hackers gained access to customers’ credit and debit card information.

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Recent class actions filed against Facebook and Shutterfly are the first cases to test an Illinois law that requires consent before biometric information may be captured for commercial purposes. Although the cases focus on biometric capture activities primarily in the social-media realm, these cases and the Illinois law at issue have ramifications for any business that employs biometric-capture technology, including those who use it for security or sale-and-marketing purposes. In a recent article published in Law360, Hunton & Williams partner, Torsten M. Kracht, and associate, Rachel E. Mossman, discuss how businesses already using these technologies need to keep abreast of new legislation that might affect the legality of their practices, and how businesses considering the implementation of these technologies should consult local rules and statutes before implementing biometric imaging.

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On July 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a previous decision that dismissed a putative data breach class action against Neiman Marcus for lack of Article III standing. Remijas et al. v. Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, No. 14-3122.

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As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog:

Illinois recently joined a growing number of states and municipalities that have passed “ban the box” laws regulating when employers can inquire into an applicant’s criminal history.

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On November 7, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had settled charges against payday lending and check cashing companies alleged to have improperly disposed of consumers’ personal information. In its complaint, the FTC maintained that PLS Financial Services, Inc., and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois violated the FTC’s Disposal Rule as well as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s Privacy Rule and Safeguards Rule by disposing of documents that contained consumers’ Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and credit reports in unsecured dumpsters near the companies’ payday lending and check cashing retail stores. The FTC also alleged that the companies violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting that they would reasonably protect consumer information.

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In recent weeks, regulators in California and Illinois have issued guidance on responding to data security breaches, while UK and California authorities released online forms for organizations to use when providing notification of a breach to regulators.

In December 2011, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released a new breach notification form, reinforcing its expectation that organizations provide notification whether or not such notification is legally required. Sector-specific breach notification requirements were introduced in the UK by The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011, and since May 2011, public electronic communication service providers have been required to notify the ICO, and in some cases affected individuals, in the event of a data security breach. All other organizations are strongly encouraged to notify the ICO of serious security breaches, and the fact that an incident was reported voluntarily is something the ICO takes into consideration when determining the appropriate enforcement action.

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As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog, on October 10, 2011, California became the seventh state to enact legislation restricting public and private employers alike from using consumer credit reports in making hiring and other personnel decisions. Assembly Bill No. 22 both adds a new provision to the California Labor Code -- Section 1024.5 -- and amends California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”). Effective January 1, 2012, California employers will be prohibited from requesting a consumer credit report for employment purposes unless they meet one of the limited statutory exceptions, and those employers meeting an exception, will be subjected to increased disclosure requirements. Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, Oregon, Maryland and Washington already have similar laws on the books, and many other states, as well as the federal government, are contemplating similar legislation. This trend creates a potential “credit-centric” minefield for employers that do business in any one or more of these states. In light of the multiple laws affecting their use, employers who utilize consumer credit reports in making personnel decisions should proceed cautiously. Employers must evaluate the need for these reports in making personnel decisions, review and modify their policies to ensure compliance with the myriad of regulations in this area, and monitor any new developments to ensure continued compliance.

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On September 28, 2011, a federal court in Illinois held that West Publishing Company (“West”) had not violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”) by reselling driver’s license information obtained from state DMVs.  The court held that (1) the DPPA creates a federal private right of action permitting individuals like the plaintiffs to bring their class action suit, but (2) the lower court’s dismissal for failure to state a claim was proper.

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On August 10, 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Employee Credit Privacy Act, which prohibits most Illinois employers from inquiring about an applicant’s or employee’s credit history or using an individual’s credit history as a basis for an employment decision.  The definition of “employer” under the Act exempts banks, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, debt collectors and state and local government agencies that require the use of credit history.

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A class action complaint filed on December 9, 2009, in Illinois federal court alleges that WideOpen West, Finance, LLC ("WOW"), an Internet service provider, violated its users' privacy by "installing spyware devices on its broadband networks."  Valentine v. WideOpen West (N.D. Ill., No. 1:09-cv-07653).  This action against WOW follows the October 6, 2009, dismissal by a district court in California of similar claims against six out-of-state ISP defendants (including WOW) filed in November 2008 by the same lead plaintiff.  The court in Valentine v. NebuAd, Inc. et al. (N.D. Cal., No. 3:08-cv-05113) found that the ISP defendants were not subject to personal jurisdiction in California, leaving the now-defunct NebuAd as the only defendant in that case.  Plaintiff Valentine has now brought this action against WOW in the Northern District of Illinois.

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