Thursday, January 28, 2021 is Data Privacy Day. When it comes to data privacy in the physical and online assessment world, Pearson VUE is the clear leader. We partner with our clients on new and pending legislation that could affect their programs and diligently monitor online activity.
And in honor of Data Privacy Day, Pearson VUE is providing an update about some potential new data privacy legislation in New York.
Recently, a new biometric privacy law was introduced in the state of New York which is similar to legislation passed in Illinois. The Illinois legislation produced hundreds of class action lawsuits and in some cases, it was reported that it cost IT companies hundreds of millions of dollars. Pearson VUE defended two such class action lawsuits and both were dismissed swiftly and inexpensively.
If an organization is prepared, it should be able to handle the potential private right of action in the same manner. The proposed New York legislation requires organizations to maintain a publicly available retention period specific to biometrics which states that biometric data will be destroyed “when the initial purpose for collecting or obtaining such identifiers or information has been satisfied or within three years of the individual's last interaction with the private entity, whichever occurs first.”
Additionally, prior to collection, organizations must also inform consumers that they are collecting the biometric data, the purpose for its collection, and how long it is to be kept. Similar to the Illinois legislation, this statute also introduces a private right of action for individuals. Damages under the proposed legislation for offending entities include actual damages or liquidated damages of $1,000 (for negligent violations) or $5,000 (for intentional violations), whichever is greater, to each affected individual.
Pearson VUE is well prepared to handle this or any similar new legislation. We already have internal systems and processes in place to comply with new statutory requirements so that if this legislation passes, we will be adequately protected on day one - and so will our clients.
We continue to monitor all pending privacy legislation and will continue to lead the computer-based and assessment industry.