The Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Consumer Protections in Biometrics Case


Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in favor of consumer protections and privacy in a case that has broad implications related to the collection of biometric data. Stacy Rosenbach sued Six Flags Great America over the electronic collection of her son's fingerprints to use a season pass. She cited the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, which is considered one of the "nation's most strongest for safeguarding identifiers such as facial features, fingerprints and iris scans." Initially lower courts wouldn't allow her to cite the law in her case against the amusement park as "Rosenbach never demonstrated a direct injury or adverse effect" from the collection of biometric data. But the Illinois Supreme Court "ruled that violation of the law is damage enough." "'This is no mere 'technicality,' as the appellate court suggested, Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier wrote in the opinion. 'The injury is real and significant.'" Companies such as Facebook have vested interest in the case as the social media giant collects biometric data to scan and tag photos for example.

Through the Act, our General Assembly has codified that individuals possess a right to privacy in and control over their biometric identifiers and biometric information. The duties imposed on private entities by section 15 of the Act (740 ILCS 14/15 (West 2016)) regarding the collection, retention, disclosure, and destruction of a person's or customer's biometric identifiers or biometric information define the contours of that statutory right. "iometrics are unlike other unique identifiers that are used to access finances or other sensitive information. For example, social security numbers, when compromised, can be changed. Biometrics, however, are biologically unique to the individual; therefore, once compromised, the individual has no recourse, is at heightened risk for identity theft, and is likely to withdraw from biometric-facilitated transactions."
"most strongest"?

Does anyone edit any more?

If it passes spell check, must be good. At least this one is only redundant and doesn't really change the meaning of the sentence. Far too many times I see a wrong word in an article. Spelled correctly. Correct type of word i.e. noun in a noun slot, but still the wrong word.

At least this court gets the uniqueness of biometrics and some of the risks if the databases containing the resultant files get compromised.
WTG Illinois! Not as far as I would like to see it taken, but it is a step in the right direction.
I can stand behind this I guess, depends how this all plays out if Six Flaggs agrees to destroy said finger prints and make him go to customer service every visit to verify he is the one who is on the pass to which they can walk him through the gate then sure, if this woman demands money for this though sounds more like she's just trying to get money because she found a law that they technically are violating, which don't get me wrong I would love it if every company that violated the Do Not Call act had to pay *ME* for the violations and not the government (if they ever found out who did it) in the way of fines but if she's asking for money over this instead of justice... meh.

That said, what exactly does it mean by biometrics? Wouldn't a picture that is detailed enough to determine who the person is be considered biometrics? Would what Disney does at their parks consider biometrics? They scan the thumbprint but (supposedly) assign values to various lines to come up with what is effectively a "Checksum" and that is what they store not the fingerprints so technically two people could use the same pass assuming they add up to the same value.

Oh well, I simply see Six Flaggs putting on their webpage that in order to buy a season pass you have to agree to allow Six Flaggs to store a thumb print, and that parents must be with children under 18 when getting the pass in person which makes it more of a pain in the ass for the 99.9% that don't care that Six Flaggs keeps a thumb print for a year.
This freaking obsession with getting richer and richer and richer and richer... People are sheep and sheep, and sheep.
What are you people waiting for? Get out there and sue Facebook, like the blurb said to do. You know you want to. :)