Rep. Ann Williams Featured in WCIA Article

On February 24, 2023, I was featured in WCIA’s article Illinois employers concerned over recent rulings in Biometric Information Privacy Act claims. The article examines the effects of cases such as Cothron V. White Castle Systems and Tims V. Blackhorse, Inc. in an ever-evolving technological landscape. As an advocate for the preservation and expansion of data protection and privacy rights, I discussed the importance of legislation such as the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and how such laws offer protection of employees and their personal data. 

“Unlike your social security number or a bank account number or a password, you can’t change your fingerprint.”

BIPA was passed in 2008 in response to growing concerns over security and data collection. Small business owners have expressed worry over the impact of the ruling, saying legal action could be detrimental to their business’s success. However, the main objective of the law is to prevent large tech companies from gathering biometric data without employees’ consent. The expansion of BIPA provides a course of action for plaintiffs that have had their biometric data collected by their employers without prior consent.

“It doesn’t just apply to employers. I think the big, real focus of BIPA, the more significant concern for regular people is the application to big tech companies.”

I am committed to preserving Illinoisans’ privacy and protection rights as we enter new, complex technological realms. As we attempt to apply already-existing privacy protection legislation to newly introduced tech spaces, I aim to empower legislation that is rooted in the protection of fundamental human rights and the preservation of data privacy. The people deserve to know when their personal data is being collected and what it is being used for.

For the full WCIA article, click HERE

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