We are all entitled to data protection and privacy. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) protect your data rights. Companies cannot share any data without clear consent under these laws. Certain companies and apps, however, have been accused of not following data protection and video privacy laws. In these cases, class-action lawsuits have arisen, and settlements are made against the company that has violated state regulations. Explore more about data violations and what you can do if your privacy rights are breached here.
Class Action Against Privacy And Data Rights
Many class-action lawsuits were taken against companies that breached users’ rights to privacy and the protection of their data. PersonalizationMall.com paid a $4.5 million settlement last year for the company’s finger scanners storing biometric data of employees without their consent for timekeeping purposes. According to the BIPA, companies need to inform employees of the collection and storage of their data, and obtain clear consent from employees before data can be requested from them. Other companies, such as Compass and 365 Retail, also settled on using finger scanners on vending machines.
Along with these settlements, companies that had individual fingerprints scanned without consent were also taken to court. BioLife, for example, paid out $6 million after accusations that the company improperly collected fingerprints from donors.
Even large corporations such as McDonald’s have agreed to settlements after alleged violations of data protection rights. The company paid out $50 million after employees were asked to use their biometric information to sign into the company’s system.
What Are My Rights?
Both the BIPA and VPPA regulate and protect users’ rights to their data and privacy. If you use social media or a streaming video provider, your viewing history is likely being stored by the app. The VPPA regulates the sharing of data between streaming video providers. It states that customers need to provide consent to the provider to share information about their viewing preferences on social networks. You, therefore, have the opportunity to deny consent if you don’t want your data to be collected.
The privacy and protection of users’ data under the BIPA are similar. If your data is collected, it has to follow certain regulations, including:
- Informing individuals (in writing) that their biometric information will be collected and stored.
- An explanation of why data will be collected, the length of time it will be stored, and information about the use of user data.
- Individuals must sign a written release before companies can collect their information.
- Users need to receive information regarding the destruction of collected biometric data.
The issue of data privacy, however, is complex, with most businesses and government agencies collecting data from users. The best way to protect yourself is to read the privacy law, the disclaimer stated on apps before downloading them, and your employment contract regarding any use of your data.
What Can I Do If My Rights Are Breached?
If your rights have been breached or your data was taken without your permission, you may be entitled to compensation. It may be difficult to prove that your data has been breached, which is why you should consult a privacy lawsuit lawyer. If you are unsure whether your rights have been breached or how to join a class-action lawsuit, you will need to consult our class-action lawsuit attorneys. We have years of experience helping clients receive the compensation they deserve with our expert knowledge of data protection in federal and state law.
For more information on data protection and your rights, give the expert attorneys at Shamis & Gentile, PA. a call today!