Use of employer’s smart Dashcam triggers BIPA dispute

The use of smart on-board cameras and vehicle cameras, including ones that harness AI technology, could spark the next wave of BIPA litigation, according to two cases filed in Illinois this week.

Adopted in 2008, the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act, 740 ILCS 14 et seq. (the “BIPA”), went largely unnoticed until a few years ago, when a handful of cases sparked a flood of alleged class action litigation regarding the collection, use, storage and disclosure of biometric information. Many of these cases were brought by plaintiffs who alleged violations of BIPA when time-management devices asked them to swipe their finger to point when they entered or left work. The use of these devices, many complainants claim, resulted in the collection of their fingerprints without the corresponding notice, consent and other measures required under BIPA. The focus can be on a new technology: dashcams powered by AI.

Organizations whose employees regularly drive to perform business tasks raise several issues – safety, productivity, loss prevention, expense reimbursement, among others. For these reasons, some organizations are deploying telematics and associated technologies to better manage their fleets. One tool in this process is the vehicle’s camera, such as dashboard cameras, which are capable of monitoring (and recording) video and / or audio of the driver, passengers and, in some cases, people outside the vehicle. These devices can also track where and how a vehicle is driven – hard acceleration, tight turns, lane changes, and more. being collected.

According to at least one of these recently filed complaints, the vehicle’s camera doesn’t just record traditional video of the driver. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to detect driver behavior. Specifically, product descriptions claim that smart cameras can identify whether drivers are inattentive, distracted, or tired with facial mapping technology that scans facial geometry and analyzes the resulting data.

Under BIPA, a “biometric identifier” generally means “a scan of the retina or iris, a fingerprint, a voice print or a scan of the geometry of the hand or face” and “biometric information” means “Any information, regardless of how it is captured, converted, stored, or shared, based on an individual’s biometric identifier used to identify an individual.”

It is not clear at this point if these complaints have any merit, however, organizations that use AI-powered vehicle cameras should carefully review this technology with their vendors to understand the nature and extent of the data. collected.

Jackson Lewis PC © 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 10

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