NYC Latest to Enact New Biometric Privacy Laws
On July 9, 2021, the newest biometric privacy ordinance in the country was enacted in New York City. The law comes after the New York state legislature failed to come to an agreement on a statewide law earlier this year. As we have seen with other biometric laws in Illinois and Portland, this act aims to protect consumers and employees from employers and businesses taking advantage of their biometric data.
The law requires “commercial establishments” to comply with new rules surrounding the collection of biometric information. These rules include: getting signature consent to the collection of their data, a written policy about the retention and destruction of the data, businesses are not allowed to profit off biometric data, and signs in workplaces that notify the workers of their information being collected.
This is sure to lead to more BIPA class actions like the $650 million Facebook BIPA Settlement and the $92 million Tik Tok settlement in Illinois. The penalty for violating the ordinance is $500 for each “negligent” violation and up to $5000 for each “intentional or reckless” violation. The NYC Biometric Privacy Act (BPA) comes at a time when a new trend is beginning to take shape in the form of these statutes, such as the one passed earlier this year in Portland and numerous drafts of laws in their early stages in state and local legislatures.
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