Opting Out: Biometric Information Privacy and Standing

By: Michelle Jackson

Biometric technology promises to reshape the modern economy. With the increased prevalence of biometric technology comes a heightened risk of data breaches and identity theft. To protect consumers, state legislatures have enacted biometric privacy laws. As more state legislatures define the intangible harm of data misuse, some federal courts have restricted what constitutes an injury sufficient to create Article III standing. This analysis misapplies Spokeo and undermines legislative efforts to protect individual privacy. Because of the important interests at stake with biometric information privacy, federal courts should follow the Ninth Circuit and recognize the misuse of that data as a sufficient injury to constitute standing. Consumers usually cannot opt out of new biometric technologies implemented at airport gates, shopping centers, and workplaces. The federal courts also should not use standing doctrines to opt out of the intangible harms characterizing the information age.
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Cite: 18 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 293

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