New biometric privacy law takes effect in New York City

Starting yesterday, companies that collect biometric information, such as facial recognition and fingerprints, will be required to post notices and posters in a visible way for customers explaining how their data will be collected.


This new ordinance, which takes effect in New York City, applies to a wide range of businesses that are also prohibited from selling, sharing, or profiting from the biometric information they collect.


The measure will provide New Yorkers, including their visitors, with greater protection over the data companies collect, while trying to discourage companies from using technology to their advantage.


Biometric surveillance


However, the new law has some gaps. For one thing, the ordinance does not apply to government agencies, including the police, and the definition of biometric data is likely to face many challenges.


New York becomes the last city in the United States to enact a biometric privacy law, after Portland and Illinois, where there is a law that gives residents the right to sue a company for any use of their biometric data without consent.

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