New York | Biometric Law to come into force in July

New York City had passed Biometric Identifier Information Law which comes into effect on July 9, 2021.

Key features of the law are:

  • The law states that the commercial establishments in New York City that collect, retain, convert, store, or share biometric identifier information (e.g., retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, and hand scans) from customers must disclose such collection, retention, conversion, storage, or sharing, as applicable, by placing a clear and conspicuous sign near all customer entrances to their facilities. Such signage must use plain, simple language.
  • Under the law, the affected businesses must post clear, conspicuous notices near all customer entrances to their facilities. The law gives aggrieved customers a private right of action, subject to a 30-day notice and cure period, with damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per violation, along with attorney’s fees.
  • Section 22-1202(b) bars commercial establishments from selling, leasing, trading, sharing, or otherwise profiting from such biometric identifier information.
  • The law includes a private right of action, which provides: Notice and Cure Period. Aggrieved persons must give offending parties written notice at least 30 days prior to initiating any action accusing a commercial establishment of violating 22-1202(a). No prior written notice is required for actions alleging a violation of 22-1202(b), which provides that commercial establishments cannot sale, share, or profit in any way from a customer’s biometric information.
  • The law does not apply to government agencies, employees, or agents.


*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.

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