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Mobile Mini Face Class Action Lawsuit over Privacy Breach

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Mobile Mini Face Class Action Lawsuit over Privacy Breach

In a legal battle that shines a spotlight on the intersection of technology and privacy, Mobile Mini, Inc., a leading portable storage company, is facing a class-action lawsuit filed by several of its employees. The plaintiffs, Junior Smith, Gregg Quagliano, Miguel Lupian, Martin Hidalgo, Todd Sampson, and Jim Cavanaugh, allege that the company has been collecting, storing, and using their biometric data without their informed consent or a published data retention policy.

The lawsuit, filed on September 15, 2023, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, centers on the company's use of a biometric timekeeping system and driver-facing cameras in their trucks. According to the complaint, Mobile Mini required its employees to use these systems, thereby collecting and storing their biometric data.

"Mobile Mini, Inc. collected, stored, and used the biometrics of employees, including the plaintiffs, through its biometric timekeeping system without providing notice, obtaining informed written consent, or publishing data retention policies," the complaint reads. This, according to the plaintiffs, represents a significant violation of their privacy rights.

The case hinges on the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a law enacted to protect the privacy of individuals in the state of Illinois. Under BIPA, companies are required to obtain informed written consent before collecting biometric data, and they must also have a publicly available retention schedule for this data. The plaintiffs allege that Mobile Mini has violated both of these provisions.

The lawsuit also highlights the unique and irreplaceable nature of biometric data. Unlike passwords or PIN numbers, biometric data, such as facial scans, cannot be changed if they are compromised. This makes the unauthorized collection and use of such data a significant privacy concern.

The plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages of $5,000 for each intentional and/or reckless violation of BIPA, or $1,000 for each negligent violation. The class includes all individuals formerly and/or currently employed by Mobile Mini, Inc. within the past 5 years in Illinois who had their biometric identifiers collected, captured, received, or otherwise obtained by the defendant.

The case serves as a stark reminder of the privacy concerns that arise with the increasing use of biometric technology in the workplace. As the lawsuit progresses, it will be interesting to see how the court interprets and applies the provisions of BIPA, a law that is designed to protect the privacy rights of individuals in an era of rapidly evolving technology.

Case Facts

  • Status:
    Lawsuit Filed
  • Case Number:
    1:23-cv-13784
  • Filing Date:
    September 15, 2023
  • Jurisdiction:
    U.S. District Courts
  • State:
    Illinois
  • Court:
    Illinois Northern District
  • Plaintiff:
    Todd Sampson; Junior Smith
  • Defendant:
    Mobile Mini, Inc.
  • Plaintiff Firm:
    Jordan Richards, PLLC
  • Defendant Firm:
  • Claims Administrator:
Contributors
Jerome Andries, Esq.
Jerome Andries, Esq.
Reporter and Licensed Attorney
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