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Plasma Donation Center Faces Illinois Biometric Privacy Suit

Dec. 2, 2019, 9:35 PM

A plasma donation service violated an Illinois privacy law when it allegedly collected a client’s fingerprint data without her consent, according to a complaint filed Dec. 2 in state court.

Octapharma Plasma Inc. required plaintiff Mary Crumpton to scan her fingerprint for a database each time she donated plasma, according to the complaintfiled in the Illinois Court of Chancery.

The company allegedly failed to tell Crumpton, and a proposed class of plaintiffs, that it had a biometric data policy, and failed to give Crumpton or others the opportunity to provide informed written consent, according to the complaint.

Plaintiffs attorneys in Illinois are increasingly using the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act to sue companies for violations. Although most cases haven’t reached trial, the potential for damages raises risks for business that collect or use biometric data in the state. The Illinois law provides for up to $5,000 for each willful violation of the law.

Cause of Action: Violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Relief Requested: Declaratory relief, injunctive relief, statutory damages, and attorneys’ costs.

Response: Representatives for Octapharma didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

“Given the industry Octapharma is in, we would think that they would have a heightened concern about protecting private information,” Jay Edelson, attorney for the plaintiff, said.

Attorneys: Edelson PC represents Crumpton. Counsel for Octapharma couldn’t be immediately identified.

The case is Crumpton v. Octapharma Plasma, Inc., Ill. Cir. Ct., No. 2019-CH-13850, complaint 12/2/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dstoller@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Hughes at bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com