Biometrics in the Workplace

February 11, 2019

The world constantly evolves as new technology is created. As the use of biometric technology in the workplace grows, so does the number of people concerned about their privacy. Here’s a short summary of what you need to know about biometric technology and how privacy should be protected.

What is Biometric Technology?

Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's unique physical and behavioral characteristics. The technology is mainly used for identification and access control. Biometric identifiers include fingerprints, retina, hand, or face geometry.

Biometrics in the Workplace

Using biometrics, employers can limit access to certain facilities or allow employees to clock in and out through its timekeeping systems. This would ensure that only authorized personnel are able to access the facility and clock in. The use of biometrics would help limit, if not eliminate, employee abuse and falsification that can occur in the workplace.

Is the use of Biometrics Legal?

As this technology becomes more common, laws continue to develop and provide more guidance to employers about collecting, storing, and using biometric information. Effective June 1, 2018, Alabama passed the Data Notification Act, which bans any person or entity from using sensitive personally identifiable information about Alabama residents, such as:
  • Non-truncated Social Security
  • Driver’s license
  • Financial account numbers
  • Medical history information
  • Health insurance information
  • Personal usernames and passwords

This act also requires a notification to an individual whose protected data is hacked.

If you’re an employer and would like to know more about the data privacy laws in Alabama or using biometric identifiers, the lawyers at Isom Stanko & Senter are more than willing to help!