Guide to U.S. Biometric Privacy Laws

Guide toU.S. Biometric Privacy Laws

A Reference Guide to State Laws on Biometric Information and Related Legislative Trends

Welcome to the first edition of the Security Industry Association (SIA) Guide to Biometric Privacy Laws for SIA members!

Biometric technologies create, compare and match data based on physiological (either morphological or biological) or behavioral measurements, to uniquely identify a person. Biometric data is the data that is created from those measurements. The most common biometric technologies in use across government, commercial and consumer application today involve face, fingerprint, voice, iris or palm recognition. Recent advancements in computing power, artificial intelligence-driven software and industry innovation have made these technologies more affordable, accessible and ubiquitous in a wide variety of applications requiring more accurate and secure methods of identification.

Biometric technologies have emerged as critical to the security field because they can enhance capabilities of solutions like video security, access control and identity management systems that help customers secure their facilities, employees and patrons against the threat of violence, theft or other harm.

As state-level data privacy laws continue to be enacted across the country, and clarified by state courts, this guide, produced by SIA's government relations team and co-authored by Dykema, can serve as a starting point for any business user or industry supplier of biometric technologies attempting to navigate the legal landscape around biometrics throughout the United States, which can be complex.

Businesses need to be proactive in their compliance quests. In particular, as we have seen in Illinois, a court’s interpretation of the law can change businesses’ compliance requirements quickly and impose instant litigation risks, which is why it’s imperative that a business consult an attorney regarding maintaining compliance, as the laws and their interpretations evolve.

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