Insurer Must Defend Salon for Violation of Biometric Information Privacy Act

On May 20, 2021, the Supreme Court of Illinois upheld the state appellate decision finding that that West Bend Mutual Insurance Company must defend its insured, a tanning salon, against a class-action lawsuit claiming violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) under two business owners’ liability policies.

The plaintiff in the class action lawsuit purchased a membership from the tanning salon.

As part of the use of the salon’s services, the plaintiff was required to provide the salon with her fingerprints for use in the salon’s client registration system.

The tanning salon then provided that information to its third-party vendor for hosting.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged: Krishna Tan systematically and automatically collected, used, stored, and disclosed their [customers’] biometric identifiers or biometric information without first obtaining the written release required by 740 ILCS 14/15(b)(3).

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