The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employers to facilitate work from home procedures. As pointed out in a new Locke Lord QuickStudy, the "rush to remote" has put the need to roll out new technology ahead of the need to secure employee privacy. Video conferencing, identity verification and timekeeping procedures may expose businesses to liability for failing to safeguard privacy. Collecting biometric information such as fingerprints and voiceprints can violate the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) if proper disclosures and procedures are not in place, including informed written consent.
BIPA has been in effect since 2008, but in recent years there has been an increase in litigation involving its provisions. Cases have raised issues such as whether an actual injury is required to provide standing, whether cases can be tried in federal courts, and its applicability outside Illinois.
Even if your business is local and you have no connection to Illinois, be sure that your technology for remote work does not compromise your employees' privacy.