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Retail Chains Hit with Illinois Class Action Suits over Biometrics

Corporate Counsel

Major retailers operating in Illinois, including Walmart and Best Buy, are facing a barrage of lawsuits alleging violations under one of the country’s strictest biometrics privacy laws.


Though the flurry of suits come from a single law firm, Jeffrey Rosenthal, a Blank Rome partner in Philadelphia, said the uptick could indicate renewed interest in biometric-related class actions in Illinois.

The state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, passed by state lawmakers in 2008, requires consent from anyone who’s biometric information is collected. It also allows private litigation from plaintiffs alleging violations of the statute.

“There have been different waves of these class actions being filed against different targets,” said Rosenthal, who leads the biometric privacy practice at the firm. “Unlike the two other states that have biometric laws in the books, Texas and Washington, Illinois has the only statute with private right of action. It’s the only place where private citizens can bring these claims.”


Rosenthal said that in the biometric cases, the Illinois plaintiffs don’t have to demonstrate that they suffered harm from having their data collected without consent, only that it was taken in the first place.

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"Retail Chains Hit with Illinois Class Action Suits over Biometrics," by Hugo Guzman was published in Corporate Counsel on August 30, 2022.