Co-authors: Nadine C. Abrams and Richard Mrizek 

In a ruling that may have significant impact on the constant influx of biometric privacy suits under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court will soon weigh in on whether claims under Sections 15(b) and (d) of the BIPA, 740 ILCS 14/1, et seq., “accrue each time a private entity scans a person’s biometric identifier and each time a private entity transmits such a scan to a third party, respectively, or only upon the first scan and first transmission.” Adopting a “per-scan” theory of accrual or liability under the BIPA would lead to absurd and unjust results, argued a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Jackson Lewis in Cothron v. White Castle Systems, Inc., in the Illinois Supreme Court, on behalf of a coalition of trade associations whose more than 30,000 members employ approximately half of all workers in the State of Illinois.

To date, more than 1,450 class action lawsuits have been filed under BIPA. Businesses that collect, use, and store biometric data should be tracking the Cothron decision closely.  The full update on Jackson Lewis’s brief in the Cothron case before the Illinois Supreme Court is available here.