BNSF to Pay Truckers $75 Million for Collecting Fingerprints Without Their Consent

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In a recent development, BNSF, a prominent railway company, has reached an agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit concerning alleged breaches of Illinois privacy regulations. The settlement, valued at a substantial sum, marks a significant step in addressing concerns raised by a group of truck drivers.

Reportedly, on February 26, the Fort Worth-based BNSF finalized a settlement amounting to $75 million in response to a lawsuit filed by approximately 46,500 truck drivers, as detailed by Reuters. The lawsuit primarily centered around BNSF’s practice of mandating fingerprint scans for truck drivers accessing rail yards in the Chicago area, purportedly without providing adequate information regarding the retention of such biometric data.

According to the plaintiffs’ legal counsel, BNSF’s actions were in contravention of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, which stipulates the necessity of explicit consent for the collection of biometric data, including fingerprints. The resolution of this legal dispute comes after BNSF had previously been directed to pay a significantly larger sum of $228 million, equating to $5000 per truck driver, subsequent to a jury trial. However, this initial damages award was subsequently overturned.

BNSF, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has undertaken this settlement as part of its commitment to addressing legal concerns and upholding privacy standards in its operations.

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