The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce applauds action taken by the Illinois House Judiciary Civil Committee in advancing legislation that makes reasonable reforms to the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Proposed by House Republican Leader, Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge), HB 559 would create common-sense changes to BIPA by providing security and relief for businesses while continuing to protect workers’ privacy. If passed, this bill would protect companies of all sizes — retailers, manufacturers, non-profits, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, among many others — from being the target of frivolous lawsuits. 

Further, HB 559 would allow for a “notice and cure” process, in which employers can be notified of an alleged violation and cure it if no actual damage is borne by the employee in the process.

“We applaud the actions taken by Leader Durkin, as well as the other members of the House Judiciary Civil Committee, for advancing HB 559, which makes needed updates to the Biometric Information Privacy Act. In recent years, BIPA has been used by attorneys to target employers, such as small businesses that are often unaware of its far-reaching and punitive requirements. As we await additional federal relief, the General Assembly can continue to provide support for the business community by removing the cloud of regulatory and liability uncertainty that persists, and this legislation does just that,” said Jack Lavin, President & CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Since its passage in 2008, BIPA has not been updated despite ever-evolving technology. As with any legislation, updates should routinely be made, particularly as technologies evolve to best serve the state. In total, lawmakers have filed 11 bills to reform BIPA this legislative session, with at least one bill coming from each of the four caucuses.

“HB 559 is an overdue fix to the BIPA law of 2008. The avalanche of class action lawsuits against Illinois businesses, health care providers and non-profits need to be reined in. This bill strikes the right balance by reinforcing the biometric privacy rights of employees while not unfairly punishing the employer,” said House Republican Leader, Jim Durkin.