Montana Legislation Emulates Illinois Biometrics Law That Brought Google, Facebook Lawsuits

Legislators in Montana are considering a new bill that would establish new regulations around biometric data in the state, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation is throwing its support behind it.

Montana Legislation Emulates Illinois Biometrics Law That Brought Google, Facebook LawsuitsHouse Bill 518 would require companies to obtain written consent before collecting biometric information from individuals, to store it securely, and to destroy it when it is no longer being used. It appears in large part to emulate similar legislation in place in Illinois, of which numerous major companies have run afoul, with lawsuits having been brought against Google, Facebook, and Shutterfly.

In a statement announcing its support of the bill, the EFF asserted that “[t]he danger to our privacy is growing commensurately with the development of sophisticated biometric technology,” adding that as “[m]ore and more companies are using biometrics,” citizens face new risks pertaining to privacy violations and the threat of data breaches.

Bill 518 is currently in committee, and if passed will establish the Montana Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Sources: Electronic Frontier Foundation, The National Law Review

February 24, 2017 – by Alex Perala