TMA educates small and mid-size manufacturers on how to protect themselves from BIPA lawsuits

The Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) hosted small and mid-size manufacturers for an event to educate their members on how to protect themselves from liability and annihilative lawsuits many small business owners are facing under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

TMA hosted this session for manufacturers in partnership with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse-Illinois (CALA-IL), where their Illinois Executive Director Phil Melin, employment attorney Jeralyn Beran from KTS Law, and TMA state lobbyist David Curtin discussed the latest progress with a legislative fix to the law along with practices small and mid-size manufacturers should employ to comply with the law to avoid future lawsuits.

“More than 1,000 business owners in the Chicagoland metro area alone face BIPA lawsuits, including many manufacturers, who are not equipped to wade through the murky and annihilative laws of the Biometric Information Privacy Act that Illinois lawmakers signed into law,” Melin said. “These educational sessions with business owners like TMA hosted provides the tools and resources small and mid-sized manufacturers need to protect themselves so they aren’t forced to close their doors.”

TMA has vocalized the need for Illinois lawmakers to fix current legislation to clarify that penalties should accrue “per person” instead of “per occurrence” which inflates potential penalties that would destroy small businesses. In addition, TMA is calling for the legislation to make clear the changes are retroactive back to the BIPA law’s origin date.

“Whether we’re talking to lawmakers in Springfield or with manufacturers who are being impacted by BIPA, we’ve made it clear that we need to protect privacy and support a fair biometrics data privacy policy, but the current law punishes business owners so harshly that they won’t be able to continue doing business,” Curtin said. “Manufacturing is a vital cog to Illinois’ economy and a strong small business community is the foundation to any thriving economy so our lawmakers should be doing everything they can to make doing business and creating jobs in this state easier, not annihilate them from existence.”

State Sen. Bill Cunningham introduced legislation this spring to address some of the concerns manufacturers and businesses have had toward the current law, which TMA applauds. Curtin offered supportive testimony of SB 2979 and his remarks can be found at

Founded in 1925, the Technology and Manufacturing Association is an independent trade organization exclusively focused on assisting small and mid-size manufacturers by providing a diverse portfolio of benefits and services, including: community, information, training, resources, and advocacy. TMA has nearly 1,000 members representing over 35,000 manufacturing employees and more than 25 million square feet of manufacturing plant.

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