Illinois Subway Forced Its Workers to Submit Fingerprints, an Alleged Violation of BIPA Law
In a proposed class action lawsuit, it is claimed that Illinois Subway employees under Doctor’s Assocaites franchise have been forced to scan their fingerprints into the company’s point-of-sale (POS) system before receiving disclosures or expressly consenting to the acquisition of their sensitive biometric data.
Mariel Ronquillo v. Doctor’s Associates, LLC
The Subway & Doctor’s Associates BIPA Class Action Lawsuit says that Doctor’s Associates, LLC — the American franchisor of Subway sandwich restaurants — and HP Inc., which supplies the chain’s POS equipment and software, violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). This state law regulates private businesses’ use of people’s biometrics, such as fingerprints.
Moreover, the defendants have demanded Subway employees to scan their fingerprints to access registers and time in and out of Subway’s system without complying with the BIPA’s strict requirements.
More precisely, the lawsuit contends that Subway employees were not informed about how their biometric data will be used or retained and that the defendants did not get their written agreement to capture and utilize their fingerprint data.
According to the lawsuit, the BIPA has long been in practice in Illinois for eight years at the start of the timeframe covered in the case, i.e., June 7, 2016.
It is claimed that BIPA was well-known during the class period, and its obligations were apparent.
Biometric Scanner Mandated Without Proper Explanation
According to the Subway & Doctor’s Associates BIPA Class Action Lawsuit, Doctor’s Associates mandates Subway franchisees to use HP POS equipment and technology in their restaurants as a part of its franchise operations. According to HP, the system has an integrated biometric scanner that enables employees to scan their fingerprints to access registers and time in and out for shifts and breaks.
When a worker initially activates the system, HP’s equipment collects their fingerprint and creates a reference template, which is then stored in a database with the worker’s identifying information. Moreover, according to the lawsuit, each time the employee scans their fingerprint, the system then compares the scan to the reference template and detects the user.
However, the Subway & Doctor’s Associates BIPA Class Action Lawsuit contends that the defendants failed to properly explain the Biometric System to its workers as required by the BIPA prior to scanning and storing the biometric information. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that employees were not informed about the duration of data retention in the POS system and did not consent to the defendant’s collection, use, as well as storage of the information.
The complaint seeks to include anyone whose fingerprint reference template was kept on a biometric system at a Subway fast-food restaurant in Illinois on or after June 7, 2016. It also looks to cover those whose fingerprint reference template was saved on an HP POS system in Illinois.
Editor’s Note on Subway & Doctor’s Associates BIPA Class Action Lawsuit:
This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit filed against Doctor’s Associates, LLC, a franchisor of Subway, over its alleged violation of Illinois’ state law. There is another similar lawsuit known as McDonald’s BIPA Class Action 2021.
Case Name & No.: Mariel Ronquillo v. Doctor’s Associates, LLC, Case No. 1:21-cv-04903
Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division
Products/Services: Staff’s private data
Allegations: Illinois Subway workers were allegedly mandated to scan their fingerprints to the fast-food restaurant’s point of sale system, a violation of BIPA
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