Judge tosses suit against Southwest Airlines on fingerprints

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CHICAGO – A Chicago federal judge has tossed a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging Southwest Airlines violated the law by requiring that certain employees use fingerprints to sign into and out of work.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports Judge Marvin Aspen concluded a courtroom wasn’t the proper venue to resolve what he deemed a relatively minor dispute between unionized workers and a company with a collective bargaining agreement. He said in a decision posted last week that the right place was arbitration.

Several Southwest agents filed the lawsuit in federal court this year. They argued that the use of fingerprints violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. It sought both an injunction halting the practice and an order forcing the airline to destroy any biometric data it gathered.

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