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  • Ashley Baker

Private Rights of Action and Privacy Class Actions: A cautionary tale from Illinois

Podcast recorded by the Federalist Society's Regulatory Transparency Project featuring Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, and Jennifer Huddleston, research fellow at the Mercatus Center:


Explainer Episode 9 - The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

In an episode of the Fourth Branch Podcast, Ashley Baker and Jennifer Huddleston discuss how an Illinois biometric privacy law offers a cautionary tale for policymakers as they consider data privacy regulations. What makes this law so powerful is that it allows for a private right of action for individuals to bring suit and pursue damages for violations of the act even if they suffered no injury.

The law isn’t limited to just Illinois companies. A recent Ninth Circuit ruling against Facebook allowed these class action lawsuits to proceed in federal court. The rampant lawsuit abuse resulting from the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has widespread consequences that should not be ignored in the current debate over federal data privacy legislation.

In recent weeks, lawmakers have introduced several bills that include private rights of action and released a statement of privacy principles with a private right of action as a central feature. Will policymakers learn by example? What are the practical implications of privacy litigation? Does this represent a growing trend of regulatory enforcement through litigation? These questions and more are described in this podcast.



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