BII Act Is Less Strict Than Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act
General comparisons with the BIPA are not justified because the BII law is less strict than the BIPA and the BIPA goes further. Both BII and BIPA impose restrictions on the collection and use of biometric data, including data such as fingerprints, face scans, or voice prints. However, the BIPA generally applies to any “private entity” and the BII Act regulates “commercial establishments”. BIPA’s private entity is defined much more broadly than the NYC BII business establishment, and therefore regulates more establishments than NYC BII.
New York City’s BII Act provides a 30-day processing period for certain violations and allows collection of biometric data without written consent, which may result in less litigation than the Illinois BIPA. Nonetheless, it is essential that New York businesses subject to the BII Act are aware of its requirements and consider whether their current insurance policy covers the potential liabilities of the BII Act.
Insurance policies can cover NYC BII related claims
Insurance policies that can cover claims related to the BII Act include Commercial Liability (CGL), Professional Liability (EPL) and cyber insurance policies.
CGL policies provide defense and compensation coverage for “personal injury and advertising” the definition of which may cover claims for violations of the BII Act. The policies cover claims related to employment practices and often include coverage for claims for EPL employment-related privacy breaches, which may also extend to cover claims related to the BII Act. Cyber insurance policies frequently cover liability arising from wrongdoing in technology. Since there is a wide variation in the terms of cyber insurance coverage, these policies should be considered carefully. In some cases, the illegal collection and disclosure of confidential information may be excluded from cyber insurance policies.
How to determine your coverage
Policyholders should review their coverage and before purchasing a policy, seek advice on what exactly their existing policy covers.