Filed in Illinois, the lawsuit alleges Peacock Foods, an outpost of international food manufacturer Greencore Group, violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act when it allegedly collected and stored their fingerprints in its time card system without their written consent.
The complaint claims violations of BIPA, which requires any private entity using biometric data to get written approval from the individual whose data is being collected and publicly post how long they plan to use, keep and eventually destroy the information, among other things.
“Unlike key fobs or identification cards, which can be changed or replaced if stolen or compromised, fingerprints are unique, permanent biometric identifiers associated with the employee," the complaint asserts. "If a fingerprint database is hacked, breached or otherwise exposed, employees have no means by which to prevent identity theft and unauthorized tracking."
The lawsuit claims the plaintiffs were asked by the company, to scan their fingerprints when they clock in and clock out sometime in 2016. The estimated number of employees is between 2,300 and 2,900.
The suit seeks statutory damages for each violation of BIPA, as well as an injunction barring Peacock from further violations. The class is represented by Alejandro Caffarelli, Lorrie T. Peeters and Alexis D. Martin of Caffarelli & Associates Ltd.
The case is Alma Diaz et al v. Greencore USA - CPG Partners LLC, case number 2017-CH-13198, in the Circuit Court of Cook County.