What Is the Ordinance?

New York City’s new biometrics ordinance goes into effect today, Friday, July 9. The ordinance regulates the use of “biometric identifier information” in “commercial establishments.” It is the first law of its kind in the State of New York.

  • “Biometric identifier information” is broadly defined to mean “a physiological or biological characteristic,” used “by or on behalf of” a “commercial establishment,” to “identify, or assist in identifying, an individual.” It includes, “without limitation,” retina or iris scans, fingerprints or voiceprints, hand or face geometry scans, and any other identifying characteristic.
  • “Commercial establishment” is broadly defined to include any place of entertainment, retail store, or food and drink establishment.
  • A place of entertainment is “any privately or publicly owned and operated entertainment facility” and includes theaters, stadiums, arenas, racetracks, museums, amusement parks, observatories, and other venues where performances, concerts, exhibits, games, or contests are held. This definition is broad, and may sweep in venues as large as Madison Square Garden, and as small as an arthouse theater.

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