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New York City’s new biometrics privacy law takes effect

Mondaq – “Following the municipal ban on the use of facial recognition technology in Portland, Oregon, New York City’s more expansive “biometric identifier information” law, set to go into effect July 9, 2021, will ban the sale of biometric data but permit the use of biometric identifying technologies with posted notice to customers in “simple language” to be prescribed by forthcoming rules. Specifically, the law requires that a “commercial establishment” post “clear and conspicuous signs” at customer entrances notifying customers that technologies are in use that can identify (or assist in identifying) individuals by voice, eye (retina or iris), finger, hand, face, “or any other identifying characteristic.” Even if the commercial establishment does not actively collect biometric data, notice must still be posted if it “retains, converts, stores or shares biometric identifier information of customers.” A “customer” includes only a “purchaser or lessee, or a prospective purchaser or lessee, of goods or services;” a notice for collecting or using biometrics of employees is not required. Although the use of biometric identifying technologies is permitted with the required notice, it will be unlawful to sell, lease, trade, or share biometric identifier information in exchange for anything of value or to “otherwise profit from the transaction of biometric information.” Because the section of the law banning sale or exchange is not specifically in relation to “customers,” it may be argued that commercial establishments’ employees’ biometric identifier information is subject to the ban on sale or exchange..”


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