TechNet and Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute Support the Illinois Senate’s Passage of Biometric Information Privacy Act Reform Bill

CHICAGO (April 11, 2024) – Today, the Illinois Senate passed SB 2979, which would reform the liability guidelines under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The bill marks an important milestone in the broader effort to resolve BIPA’s vague statutory language and courts’ expansive interpretations of the law, which have posed a threat to businesses that capture biometric information.

Illinois Senator Bill Cunningham introduced SB 2979 with the support of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute® (WPI®) – the government relations and public policy arm of Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management – and TechNet – the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives. In a letter sent to Senator Cunningham on April 5, Shannon Meade, Executive Director of WPI, and Tyler Diers, Midwest Executive Director of TechNet, highlighted the importance of these reforms for businesses impacted by the flood of BIPA litigation.

“The passage of this bill would protect businesses that use biometric technology to streamline operations, increase productivity, and promote safety and security,” said Diers. “We commend Senator Cunningham’s leadership on this issue and believe these reforms will go a long way towards helping businesses operating in Illinois remain competitive in the global economy.”

BIPA has led to several multi-million-dollar settlements in class actions lawsuits. Notably, the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc. held that each instance of using captured biometric information constituted a separate violation – reasoning that could have left the defendant open to an estimated $17 billion in damages.

SB 2979 would reform BIPA by limiting the number of claims that can be brought under each section of the statue. The bill would also modernize BIPA’s consent requirements by explicitly recognizing that consent can be granted by electronic signatures.

In 2023, Littler’s WPI formed the BIPA Reform Coalition in Illinois. Over the past year, WPI, along with other stakeholders – including TechNet – have advocated for BIPA reform. The Coalition will continue to support the reforms needed to make BIPA effective for both consumers and businesses.

“BIPA has had a drastic impact on employers, who often face costly litigation in cases where there is no actual harm to plaintiffs,” said Meade. “The passage of SB 2979 in the Illinois Senate is a great first step in addressing the ramifications stemming from the Cothron decision and we urge members of the state’s House of Representatives to take up, and vote in favor of, this bill. There is more work to be done to address the challenges created by BIPA and our Coalition is committed to continuing to work with the legislature to advance targeted policy reforms.”

About TechNet
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy. TechNet's diverse membership includes dynamic American businesses ranging from startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents over 4.4 million employees and countless customers in the fields of information technology, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, the sharing and gig economies, advanced energy, transportation, cybersecurity, venture capital, and finance. For more information, visit

About Littler
With more than 1,800 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse global team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow.

About Littler WPI
WPI advocates for employers on a global scale. Working closely with businesses and trade associations, WPI serves as a strong voice for employers and their workplaces to navigate real-time changes in employment and labor law, while influencing the legislation of tomorrow. By harnessing Littler’s global depth of knowledge and expansive resources for tracking emerging issues that affect the workplace, WPI brings employers’ interests to the forefront of today’s rapidly evolving regulatory landscape.