Ian Fisher and Gillian Lindsay co-authored this article for Flashpoints, a publication by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
Biometric data is fascinating and frightening. Fingerprints, iris imaging, hand scans, and face geometry are no longer reserved for special agents. Employers use fingerprints to track employees’ hours, amusement parks collect thumbprints to prevent the sharing of passes, social media sites capture facial images to “tag” people in photographs, retail stores implement similar facial scans to ban troublesome customers, and premier office buildings offer “wave of hand” biometric security access. Even Taylor Swift’s security team recently scanned concertgoers’ faces, without notice or consent, to identify threats. Biometric data offers many benefits, including enhanced security, convenience, and efficiency; its use is becoming pervasive, commonplace, and socially acceptable.