Technology has its privacy risks. Biometric privacy laws are becoming increasingly common. Following the model of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, New York City’s biometric privacy law, which will become effective July 21, consumer establishments will have signs advising their patrons of their rights.

Summary of the New York City Law

The New York City law will cover all commercial establishments that retain, convert, store or share biometric information, which includes bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and retail stores. “Biometric information” will include retina scans, iris scans, fingerprint scans, voiceprints, hand scans, face geometry and face recognition, as well as other identifying characteristics. Commercial establishments using biometric information will be required to post conspicuous signage advising that such information is being retained, converted, stored or shared. Liability for failure to post a sign, however, will be subject to a 30-day notice to cure requirement. The New York City law provides for a private right of action and no actual damages are necessary for recovery of statutory damages.