Wendy’s Sued For Violating Illinois Law Against Biometrics

By Aaron Kesel

A class-action lawsuit was filed in Illinois against a fast food restaurant chain of the Wendy’s franchise. The suit accuses the company of violating state laws for the way the business stores its employees’ fingerprints, ZDNet reported.

The lawsuit was filed on September 11, in a Cook County court, according to the complaint obtained by ZDNet.

The complaint alleges that the practice of using a biometric scan of employees’ fingerprints to clock when they arrive at Wendy’s for work, when they leave, and when they use the Point-Of-Sale and cash register systems, is a violation of the state Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) law.

The lawsuit claims that Wendy’s fails to inform employees in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for keeping fingerprints collected, stored, and used, as required by the BIPA.

To make matters worse for Wendy’s, the suit also suggests that the company never even obtained a signature from employees giving consent to obtain and handle fingerprints.

The suit also expressed that Wendy’s doesn’t provide how long it stores the fingerprints data including for its former employees.

Plaintiffs for the suit include former Wendy’s employees Martinique Owens and Amelia Garcia.

According to ZDNet, the Plaintiffs are now requesting a class-action classification for their suit from the judge and a jury trial, as well as litigation expenses, and compensation.

Plaintiffs are further requesting that Wendy’s disclose whether or not the company “sold, leased, traded, or otherwise profited from Plaintiffs’ and the Class’s biometric identifiers or biometric information,” and if Wendy’s or NCR (the company Wendy’s uses) have ever used any of their data and any subsequent class filers’ fingerprints to track or monitor them in any way shape or form.

This comes as another form of biometrics is being pushed. Facial recognition cameras are being driven into society, with Amazon helping law enforcement through its Facial Rekogntion software, DHS wanting to use it for border control, and the Olympics wanting to use the tech for security.

Even retail is pushing for the technology as an anti-theft mechanism to be introduced in a number of stores using biometric facial recognition software FaceFirst to build a database of shoplifters, as Activist Post reported.

Although fingerprints and facial recognition are two different types of biometrics, the same privacy concerns remain. How is the data stored and is it secure? How long is the retention of the data and what can it be used for? In other words, strict guidelines that prevent the abuse of biometric data.

These are all questions we should ask ourselves and officials when they are determining laws to govern the collection of such data. Especially since police have been caught abusing the data and the data has mismatched people before, confusing suspects with 28 lawmakers.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.


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