In my recent roundup of top D&O stories, I identified privacy as among the top issues for concern in the corporate liability environment. In identifying privacy as a top concern, one specific thing I had in mind was the threat of class action litigation under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA). As if to underscore the significance of corporate exposure from privacy issues, on January 6, 2021, a bipartisan group of New York legislators introduced biometric privacy legislation that, notably, would include remedies along the lines of the Illinois statute. Although there may be reasons to question whether the proposed New York legislation will be enacted, even just its proposal is a concern and underscores the growing importance of privacy issues generally.
Continue Reading New York Legislators Introduce Proposed Biometric Privacy Act with Private Right of Action

In my recent year-end summary of corporate and securities liability trends (here), I identified privacy as an important area of growing area of corporate risk and specifically mentioned biometric privacy issues of particular concern. Almost as if to prove my point, on January 29, 2020, in its SEC filing on Form 10-K, Facebook announced that it had agreed to pay $550 million dollars to settle a biometric data privacy class action lawsuit that had been filed on behalf Illinois users in connection with the company’s use of facial recognition software.  According to plaintiffs’ lawyers involved in the case, the settlement represents the largest-ever cash settlement to resolve a privacy-related lawsuit. This massive settlement shows the significance of privacy issues and underscores the likelihood that privacy issues – particularly biometric privacy issues – are likely to be an important corporate liability battleground concern.
Continue Reading Facebook to Pay $550 Million in Largest-Ever Privacy Settlement

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has been on the books for more than a decade. However, as a result of a January 2019 decision by the Illinois Supreme Court, the statute’s requirements and potential liabilities have become a much more serious concern. Moreover, a number of states have passed or are considering legislation similar to or designed to address the same concerns as the Illinois BIPA. This kind of privacy legislation represents a significant potential corporate liability exposure. As discussed further below, biometric data privacy-related claims present some complicated insurance coverage issues.
Continue Reading The Complicated Threat of Biometric Data Privacy Class Actions