A class action lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Monroe County Circuit Court against a business that formerly occupied Valmeyer’s Rock City cave business development over alleged violations involving data it collected from employees.
Filed by Yvonne Wilhite “on behalf of all others similarly situated,” the suit seeks monetary judgement to the plaintiff and all future class members damages of $5,000 for each intentional and/or reckless violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, and damages of $1,000 for each negligent violation of the act.
Wilhite claims in the filing that Sun Basket, a national meal kit delivery service with up to 315 employees at Rock City from March 2017 to its closing in August 2019, required workers to have their fingerprints scanned by a biometric timekeeping device.
Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics.
Sun Basket disregarded its employees privacy rights, the lawsuit claims, by using biometric data in violation of the BIPA.
It supposedly did that, according to the filing, by failing to inform the plaintiff of the purpose and length of time fingerprints would be collected, stored and used. Sun Basket also failed to provide guidelines for destroying the fingerprint information and failed to obtain consent from employees to disseminate this information to a third party.
The plaintiff and all class members “may be aggrieved because (Sun Basket) may have improperly disclosed employees’ biometrics to third-party vendors in violation of Illinois’ BIPA,” per the filing.
These violations possibly expose employees to “serious and irreversible privacy risks,” according to the lawsuit, because if a biometric database is hacked, breached or otherwise exposed (data breach or misuse), these employees have no means by which to prevent identity theft, unauthorized tracking or other use of private information.
The Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway law firm of St. Louis is representing the plaintiff in this matter.