Illinois continues to lead the way in privacy and security legislation. The Prairie State is home to the Biometric Information Privacy Act, first of its kind legislation regulating the collection and possession of biometric information, and also the Personal Information Protection Act, considered one of the more expansive data breach notification laws in the nation. And now, in what has been described as “the momentous legislative session in decades”, the Illinois state legislature unanimously passed the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act (“the AIVI Act”), HB2557, which imposes consent, transparency and data destruction requirements on employers that implement AI technology during the job interview process. The AIVI Act, the first state law to regulate AI use in video interviews, will take effect January 1, 2020.

Below are several key obligations the AIVI Act imposes on employers:

  • Notification – The employer must notify the job applicant that AI will be used during the video interview for the purpose of analyzing the applicant’s facial expressions and consider the applicant’s fitness for the position. An applicant must also be provided with an information sheet prior to interview detailing how AI works and the characteristics it uses to evaluate applicants.
  • ConsentEmployers must obtain written consent from any applicant that is evaluated by an AI program. It is worth noting that an employer is not required to consider an applicant that refuses to provide consent for the use of AI.
  • Limitations on AI Use – An employer may not use AI to evaluate applicants who have not consented to the use of AI analysis. In addition an employer may not share applicant videos, except with persons whose expertise is necessary in order to evaluate an applicant’s fitness for a position.
  • Data Destruction – If an applicant requests the destruction of a video interview, the employer must comply within 30 days upon receiving the request. Further, the employer must instruct all persons that have received a copy of the applicant’s video interview to destroy the footage.

The AIVI Act does not contain a “definitions” section, and is vague on several key matters. For example, the law is silent on penalties and enforcement, and there is no definition of AI or guidance on how notification should be provided. AI use in the hiring process is still in its early stages and the AIVI Act will likely be amended as necessary, particularly as the practice becomes more commonplace.

While there is no other state legislation to serve as a comparison, as early as 2014 the EEOC has been taking notice of “big data” technologies and the potential that the use of such technology may be in violation of existing employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the American with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. While the EEOC does not yet have an official policy on AI-based tools in the workplace, it has emphasized that the employer must assess the benefits of AI-based tools against increased exposure and risk of privacy and security issues. For more on the EEOC’s stance on AI, check out this interesting podcast episode with Dr. Romella El Kharzazi of the EEOC, “The EEOC and AI Based Assessments – the Inside Scoop” on the podcast Science 4-Hire.

Only time will tell the impact the AIVI Act will have on employment practices. But if the AIVI Act is treated in a similar manner to the BIPA, which the Illinois Supreme Court has held does not require a showing of actual injury to sue, employers should tread carefully with AI usage in the workplace. Moreover, it will likely not be long before other states enact similar legislation. Employers, regardless of jurisdiction, should be evaluating their hiring practices and procedures, particularly to ensure that written consent is obtained before the use of any technology that collects the sensitive information of a job applicant or employee.

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Photo of Joseph J. Lazzarotti Joseph J. Lazzarotti

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a Principal in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently leads the firm’s Privacy, e-Communication and Data Security Practice, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with…

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a Principal in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently leads the firm’s Privacy, e-Communication and Data Security Practice, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Trained as an employee benefits lawyer, focused on compliance, Mr. Lazzarotti also is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group.

In short, his practice focuses on the matrix of laws governing the privacy, security, and management of data, as well as the impact and regulation of social media. He also counsels companies on compliance, fiduciary, taxation, and administrative matters with respect to employee benefit plans.

Privacy and cybersecurity experience – Mr. Lazzarotti counsels multinational, national and regional companies in all industries on the broad array of laws, regulations, best practices, and preventive safeguards. The following are examples of areas of focus in his practice:

  • Advising health care providers, business associates, and group health plan sponsors concerning HIPAA/HITECH compliance, including risk assessments, policies and procedures, incident response plan development, vendor assessment and management programs, and training.
  • Coached hundreds of companies through the investigation, remediation, notification, and overall response to data breaches of all kinds – PHI, PII, payment card, etc.
  • Helping organizations address questions about the application, implementation, and overall compliance with European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, in particular, its implications in the U.S., together with preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • Working with organizations to develop and implement video, audio, and data-driven monitoring and surveillance programs. For instance, in the transportation and related industries, Joe has worked with numerous clients on fleet management programs involving the use of telematics, dash-cams, event data recorders (EDR), and related technologies. He also has advised many clients in the use of biometrics including with regard to consent, data security, and retention issues under BIPA and other laws.
  • Assisting clients with growing state data security mandates to safeguard personal information, including steering clients through detailed risk assessments and converting those assessments into practical “best practice” risk management solutions, including written information security programs (WISPs). Related work includes compliance advice concerning FTC Act, Regulation S-P, GLBA, and New York Reg. 500.
  • Advising clients about best practices for electronic communications, including in social media, as well as when communicating under a “bring your own device” (BYOD) or “company owned personally enabled device” (COPE) environment.
  • Conducting various levels of privacy and data security training for executives and employees
  • Supports organizations through mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations with regard to the handling of employee and customer data, and the safeguarding of that data during the transaction.
  • Representing organizations in matters involving inquiries into privacy and data security compliance before federal and state agencies including the HHS Office of Civil Rights, Federal Trade Commission, and various state Attorneys General.

Benefits counseling experience – Mr. Lazzarotti’s work in the benefits counseling area covers many areas of employee benefits law. Below are some examples of that work:

  • As part of the Firm’s Health Care Reform Team, he advises employers and plan sponsors regarding the establishment, administration and operation of fully insured and self-funded health and welfare plans to comply with ERISA, IRC, ACA/PPACA, HIPAA, COBRA, ADA, GINA, and other related laws.
  • Guiding clients through the selection of plan service providers, along with negotiating service agreements with vendors to address plan compliance and operations, while leveraging data security experience to ensure plan data is safeguarded.
  • Counsels plan sponsors on day-to-day compliance and administrative issues affecting plans.
  • Assists in the design and drafting of benefit plan documents, including severance and fringe benefit plans.
  • Advises plan sponsors concerning employee benefit plan operation, administration and correcting errors in operation.

Mr. Lazzarotti speaks and writes regularly on current employee benefits and data privacy and cybersecurity topics and his work has been published in leading business and legal journals and media outlets, such as The Washington Post, Inside Counsel, Bloomberg, The National Law Journal, Financial Times, Business Insurance, HR Magazine and NPR, as well as the ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, Law360, Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin, the Australian Privacy Law Bulletin and the Privacy, and Data Security Law Journal.

Mr. Lazzarotti served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Laura Denvir Stith on the Missouri Court of Appeals.