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What Is the Appropriate Statute of Limitations Period for BIPA Claims?

The BIPA compliance lag has led companies using or collecting biometric information to consider how far back their liability may extend. The Illinois General Assembly, however, did not include an explicit statute of limitations period in BIPA. As a result, the statute of limitations has become one of BIPA’s primary battlegrounds as litigants argue about potential class sizes and damages awards.

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Over the past three years, one of the hottest class action litigation trends in the United States has been Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq. BIPA requires entities that collect biometric information or identifiers to obtain prior written consent, provide notice of biometric privacy practices, and maintain reasonable security features to protect any collected data. Although BIPA was enacted in 2008, the law went largely unnoticed until 2016, leading many companies to unknowingly operate outside of strict compliance with the law for nearly a decade. Unfortunately, this could be a costly mistake, as BIPA provides a private right of action as well as statutory damages of up to $5,000 per violation.

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