Biometrics Laws And Regulations Poised To Become A Flash Point For Insurers, Market Watchers Say

Biometric data, such as fingerprint reading and retinal scans, have been around for years. But market watchers say their impact on the insurance industry is just beginning. And in response to recent legal, legislative and regulatory developments, insurers will likely respond by tightening up policy wording and deeper risk management, they said.

The first state law to regulate biometric data, the Biometric Information Privacy Act of Illinois, was enacted in 2008 and remains the toughest law regulating biometrics in the country, said Cort Malone with the policyholder firm Anderson Kill. It carries stiff penalties: $1,000 per negligent violation and $5,000 per intentional or reckless violation.

Texas, Washington, Virginia, California, New York and Arkansas all have biometric laws on the books, he said.

More laws likely are on the way.

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