White Castle collecting burger slingers’ fingerprints looks like a $17B mistake

by Tobias Mann
The Register


American burger-slinging giant White Castle is almost certainly regretting its decisions about employee monitoring after the Illinois Supreme Court Friday issued an opinion opening the fast “food” corp up to potentially billions in fines.

In what we imagine was a gut-wrenching decision for White Castle’s legal team, the court ruled [PDF] in a 4-3 decision that White Castle could be held accountable for every instance in which it scanned the fingerprints of its 9,500 employees without their consent.

Illinois has required companies to obtain permission before collecting or transmitting an individual’s biometric data since 2008. The fine for failing to do so was between $1,000 and $5,000 per infraction, depending on the circumstances.

The case, brought by an Illinois woman who began working at White Castle in 2004, involves the use of workers’ fingerprints to access pay stubs and company computers, which she said were implemented shortly after she joined.

Read the full article at The Register.

Illinois Supreme Court issues opinion over ongoing White Castle biometric privacy case

by Aislinn Murphy
Fox Business


The Illinois Supreme Court issued an opinion Friday in an ongoing case against White Castle in connection to the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) that could potentially result in massive fines.

The opinion came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th District requested for the state’s highest court to certify whether BIPA claims accumulate with each biometric data scan or transmission that allegedly violates the law or just the first instance. The Illinoise Supreme Court ruling was 4-3.

In the proposed class action case, the plaintiff sued White Castle on accusations the fast-food chain had “unlawfully collected her biometric data and unlawfully disclosed her data to its third-party vendor” without her consent for several years after implementing fingerprint-scanning for employee computer access, according to the Illinois Supreme Court document.

“We conclude that the plain language of section 15(b) and 15(d) shows that a claim accrues under the Act with every scan or transmission of biometric identifiers or biometric information without prior informed consent,” the Illinois Supreme Court said Friday the ruling.

Read the full article at Fox Business.

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