In recent weeks, a storm of discussion has arisen around a whopping $1.2 million settlement. But what’s it all about? This comprehensive guide dives deep into the case and tells you exactly how to claim the cash you might be entitled to.
For those not in the loop, the genesis of this whole affair centers around a company named Standard Market LLC, situated in the quaint village of Westmont, Illinois. With a current workforce of around 300 employees, it might appear to be your standard, run-of-the-mill store. But, if allegations are to be believed, Standard Market failed to strictly adhere to Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Standard Market’s Alleged Privacy Breach: Exposed Fingerprints and Privacy
Biometric data, especially fingerprints, are highly personal and to preserve their privacy is primordial. Over 2,000 employees provided their fingerprints to clock in at Standard Market. The pivotal point of contention here? The purported absence of a proper consent form, which the lawsuit alleges employees should have signed before offering their biometric data.
If biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition data, is compromised, cybercriminals can potentially use this information for identity theft and fraudulent activities. Also, breached biometric data could grant unauthorized individuals access to secure systems or facilities.
Customers, clients, and employees may lose trust in the company’s ability to safeguard their data, leading to potential financial losses and a loss of goodwill. That could result in a loss of the good reputation for the company.
Standard Market expressed its inability to meet the settlement amount. But that doesn’t spell doom for the claimants. Instead, the company’s insurer will handle the payments.
Are You Eligible for Payment?
Were you an employee at Standard Market between May 9, 2014, and February 22, 2020? If yes, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. The 2,082 workers who fall into this bracket are eligible beneficiaries of the settlement.
Breaking Down the Payment: Each member of the class action stands to receive an impressive $750. However, there’s a catch. Depending on the total number of applicants, this amount might undergo a slight reduction. So, while the pot is substantial, the individual payouts might vary.
Time’s Ticking: Steps to Claim the Cash
If you’re eligible, don’t rest on your laurels. The clock’s ticking, and potential recipients need to act swiftly.
- Key Dates to Remember: The final whistle for submitting a valid claim form is October 18. Mark this date on your calendar. Additionally, there’s an approval hearing on the horizon, set for October 2, a fortnight before the final claim date.
- Application Process Simplified: To claim your due, simply access the provided link to learn more and fill out the claim form.
Class Action Settlements: What Happens If You Don’t Claim Your Money
When a class action lawsuit settles, the defendant agrees to pay a certain amount of money to end the litigation. This money is then put into a settlement fund and distributed among class members.
If you don’t claim your portion of a class action settlement, what happens to your money depends on the terms of the settlement agreement. In some cases, unclaimed funds may go back to the defendant. Alternatively, some settlement agreements provide that any unclaimed funds will be divided evenly among the known class members.
It’s important to note that class action settlements often have a specific deadline for filing a claim. If you lose a settlement check and the deadline to file a claim hasn’t passed yet, you may be able to contact the settlement administrator to request a new one. If the deadline has already passed, you might be out of luck, but it is still worth reaching out to the administrator.
Not claiming the money doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost out completely. Depending on the terms of the settlement agreement, you might still receive a pro-rata share of the unclaimed funds. However, the specifics will depend on the details of the individual settlement agreement.
Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act – How It Benefits You
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) was enacted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2008 with the aim of addressing the emerging challenges and concerns surrounding the use of biometric technology. BIPA’s primary objective was to mitigate the risks associated with the proliferation of biometric data usage while also affording individuals the right to take legal action in cases of privacy violations.
BIPA defines biometric identifiers as encompassing retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, or scans of hand or face geometry, excluding data such as writing samples, biological samples for scientific or medical purposes, physical descriptions, or demographic information.
The Act places emphasis on four key aspects of biometric information: its collection, retention, disclosure, and destruction. Entities collecting biometric data are required to notify individuals about the purpose, duration, and obtain written consent for such data collection. Importantly, BIPA strictly prohibits the sale of biometric data, even with consent, except when required by law or pursuant to a warrant. Furthermore, the Act mandates the use of industry-standard protective measures or even more stringent safeguards to secure the data.
Crucially, BIPA grants individuals the right to pursue legal action in case of violations. For negligent violations, plaintiffs can seek damages of $1,000 per violation or actual damages, whichever is greater. In cases of intentional or reckless violations, plaintiffs are entitled to $5,000 in liquidated damages or actual damages, whichever is greater.