News & Resources


APA Comments on Wave of State Biometric Privacy Laws

BY: Mike Linehan | 04/13/22

In March, the APA’s Government Relations Task Force State and Local Topics Subcommittee submitted comments to four states (California, Maine, Missouri, and New York) with pending legislation that would regulate the use of biometric data by private entities.

Biometric Information Used in Payroll

Biometrics are typically used in payroll management to streamline compliance with wage and hour laws and to limit access to secure systems and workspaces. Biometric data can also be stored in employer-provided mobile phones, including fingerprint and facial recognition systems to unlock phones or to access employee portals.

APA’s Comments

The APA said payroll professionals support transparency and reporting requirements in biometric privacy legislation but also support the use of available tools to protect employees’ information and ensure employees are paid fair and full wages.

Because of protections afforded to employers and employees through biometrics, the APA asked state legislators for specific employer exceptions regarding the data storage and destruction requirements. The APA also urged legislators to eliminate provisions allowing for a private right of action. There are appropriate avenues for employees to challenge employer practices through state departments of labor and attorneys general offices.

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Mike Linehan is the Assistant Manager of Government Relations for the APA.