Graphic Packaging Settles Biometric Privacy Suit

The recent settlement by Graphic Packaging International, amounting to nearly a million dollars over alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), marks a significant development in the domain of workplace privacy and the protection of biometric data. This case serves as a profound reminder of the legal and ethical obligations companies face in handling sensitive employee information, particularly when deploying advanced technological solutions for everyday operations such as timekeeping. As the implications of this settlement extend beyond the confines of a single company, engaging with the broader context and ramifications might disclose essential insights into the evolving landscape of biometric privacy and corporate responsibility.

Key Takeaways

  • Graphic Packaging International agreed to pay over $997,000 for violating Illinois' biometric privacy law.
  • The settlement benefits employees who used hand-scan time clocks without proper consent between 2016 and 2021.
  • Eligible class members, primarily from the Centralia, Illinois facility, are estimated to receive around $1,000 each.
  • No claim form is required for eligible class members to receive the settlement benefits.

Settlement Overview

detailed account of a settlement

The settlement between Graphic Packaging International and its employees marks a significant resolution to claims of biometric privacy violations. Under the terms agreed upon, the company will pay over $997,000 to address allegations stemming from its use of a Hand Punch 4000 terminal, which tracks employee time through hand scans. This settlement encompasses a period from June 29, 2016, to September 1, 2021, benefiting those who interacted with the device at the Centralia, Illinois, facility. Eligible class members are estimated to receive around $1,000 each, with the potential for a second distribution of at least $5 per class member from any residual funds. This agreement underscores the importance of adhering to biometric privacy laws and the significant consequences for failing to do so.

BIPA Violations Explained

biometric privacy law breaches

Graphic Packaging International's violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) stemmed from its unauthorized use of hand-scan time clocks without obtaining the necessary consent from employees. This misconduct not only breached the foundational requirement of securing informed consent but also highlighted the company's failure to establish a clear, compliant policy for the collection, use, storage, and eventual destruction of biometric data as mandated by BIPA. The act enforces stringent guidelines to guarantee the protection of individuals' biometric information, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability when handling such sensitive data. In this case, Graphic Packaging International's oversight not only compromised employee privacy but also underscored the critical importance of adhering to BIPA's rigorous standards for biometric data management and protection.

Eligibility Criteria

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Understanding the violation of BIPA by Graphic Packaging International underscores the importance of identifying who is eligible for the settlement under the outlined criteria. The settlement clearly stipulates that individuals who used a Hand Punch 4000 terminal at Graphic Packaging's Centralia, Illinois, facility between June 29, 2016, and September 1, 2021, are eligible to participate. No proof of purchase is required for class members to benefit from the settlement, simplifying the process for those affected by the violation. The eligibility criteria are designed to make sure that those directly impacted by the company's failure to adhere to BIPA's regulations regarding biometric data can seek compensation, further emphasizing the importance of legal compliance in handling biometric information.

Proof and Awards

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Eligibility for the settlement does not require proof of purchase, streamlining the process for class members to claim their estimated $1,000 award. This approach greatly simplifies the claims process, allowing individuals who used the Hand Punch 4000 terminal at Graphic Packaging's Centralia, Illinois facility between June 29, 2016, and September 1, 2021, to participate without the burden of gathering and submitting evidence of their eligibility. The lack of a proof requirement underscores the settlement's aim to efficiently compensate affected individuals while acknowledging the challenges in documenting biometric data usage. Additionally, the possibility of a second distribution from residual funds guarantees that the settlement's benefits extend comprehensively to all class members, further emphasizing the commitment to equitable redress.

Process for Settlement

settlement negotiation and completion

Moving from the eligibility criteria and potential awards, it's important to outline the specific steps involved in the settlement process for affected class members. Those who used a Hand Punch 4000 terminal at Graphic Packaging's Centralia, Illinois, facility between June 29, 2016, and September 1, 2021, are automatically considered part of the settlement class. Importantly, no claim form is required to receive settlement benefits, simplifying the process for class members. However, it's essential for class members to update their mailing address on the settlement website,, to make sure the correct delivery of payment. For those needing assistance or having questions, the Claims Administrator can be contacted directly at PO Box 23698, Jacksonville, FL 32241, streamlining communication and support throughout the settlement process.

Legal Representation

legal aid for immigrants

In the case of Roberts v. Graphic Packaging International LLC, legal representation is provided by experienced attorneys Keith J Keogh and Gregg M Barbakoff, who specialize in class action lawsuits and biometric privacy laws. These attorneys have a strong background in protecting the rights of individuals under privacy statutes, particularly the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which is central to this case. Their expertise guarantees that the class members' interests are vigorously defended throughout the litigation process. The involvement of Keogh and Barbakoff in this case highlights the importance of knowledgeable legal counsel in maneuvering the complexities of biometric privacy issues and underscores their commitment to holding corporations accountable for compliance with state privacy laws.

Additional Legal Notes

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Regarding the legal proceedings of Roberts v. Graphic Packaging International LLC, it is essential to note that the settlement underscores the importance of adherence to biometric privacy laws and sets a precedent for similar future cases. This case highlights the critical nature of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and its strict regulations for businesses handling biometric information. The violation by Graphic Packaging International, involving the use of hand-scan time clocks without proper consent, showcases the potential legal consequences of non-compliance. Moreover, the settlement process, including the distribution of funds and the requirement for no claim form, reflects a streamlined approach to rectifying the breach of privacy. This case serves as a significant reminder for companies to meticulously follow biometric data policies to avoid similar legal challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Will the Settlement Affect Graphic Packaging International's Future Use of Biometric Timekeeping Systems?**

The settlement may prompt Graphic Packaging International to revise its biometric timekeeping practices, ensuring compliance with privacy laws and establishing clear consent and data destruction policies to avoid future legal challenges and maintain employee trust.

This Question Delves Into Whether Graphic Packaging International Plans to Continue Using Biometric Timekeeping Systems And, if So, How They Will Ensure Compliance With BIPA Regulations Moving Forward.

Graphic Packaging International may persist in using biometric timekeeping systems. To guarantee BIPA compliance, it must secure explicit consent, establish clear data policies, and provide transparency regarding the usage and destruction of biometric data moving forward.

What Measures Is Graphic Packaging International Taking to Safeguard the Biometric Data It Has Collected so Far?**

Graphic Packaging International is implementing stringent data protection measures to secure collected biometric information. These include robust consent protocols and thorough data destruction policies, ensuring compliance with relevant privacy laws and safeguarding employee biometric data.

This Question Seeks Information on the Company's Data Protection Strategies for the Biometric Information It Has Already Collected, Considering Its Previous Failure to Adhere to Bipa's Requirements.

The inquiry focuses on the methods employed by the company to secure previously collected biometric data, especially after not complying with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act's stringent consent and data retention policies.

How Does the Settlement Compare to Other BIPA Violation Settlements in Terms of Size and Scope?**

The settlement involving a payment of over $997,000 to resolve biometric privacy claims is significant in comparison to other similar legal resolutions, reflecting the growing importance of strict compliance with biometric information privacy standards.


To sum up, the settlement reached by Graphic Packaging International in response to allegations of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act underscores the imperative for corporations to adhere strictly to biometric data protection laws. This case highlights the legal and ethical responsibilities that organizations hold in safeguarding the privacy and security of sensitive information. The forthcoming final approval hearing on June 11, 2024, represents a significant milestone in the broader discourse on biometric privacy rights, emphasizing the critical need for compliance and accountability within the corporate sphere.


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