If you’re collecting Texas employee biometrics, be sure to comply with the state’s biometrics privacy law.
Types Of Texas Employee Biometrics Data Covered
- retina or iris scan;
- voiceprint; and
- record of hand or face geometry.
For now, the most common of these is fingerprint scans. Although as the price of biometric tech drops, you’ll see more of the other types of data collected too.
Fortunately, Texas’ biometric law isn’t as strict as the Illinois statute. For example, Facebook is being sued in a class action for $35 billion for allegedly violating Illinois’ biometric privacy law.
State Attorney General Enforcement
In contrast, Texas doesn’t allow employees to bring a civil suit against an employer for violating the state’s biometric privacy statute. Only the Texas Attorney General has the right to enforce the law against employers (and others).
However, if an enforcement action is brought by the state, there can be a pretty hefty penalty of $25,000 per violation. Arguably each employee’s data would constitute a separate violation. That can add up quickly.
Fix Your Employment Agreements
So, if you’re collecting employee biometrics (or workers based elsewhere who are covered by Texas law), you’ll want to make sure an experienced business contracts lawyer addresses the state’s biometrics law in your employment agreements and/or other employee-related documents.