Biometric technology, in addition to making for excellent security, can bring efficiency to people tracking operations. Thanks to its ability to verify the identity of an individual, biometric tech can keep track of time and attendance better than old fashioned pen and paper, shared spreadsheets, or the terribly flawed honor system.
Throughout the month of May at FindBiometrics we will be looking at this application of biometric technology, examining the ins and outs of the time and attendance market; looking at what benefits it brings to areas of deployment and the controversy that has recently sprung up sound it.
Welcome to Time & Attendance Month.
Biometric time and attendance operates on a relatively simple idea: keep track of a user when she are working or attending an event that requires her presence. It used to be the duty of pen and paper or punch cards, but, in addition to being inefficient, these old methods are susceptible to fraudulent practices.
Biometric tech addresses these issues through its usual benefits. Current biometric technology is fast, accurate, can’t be lost, and in some cases is so frictionless users might not even notice they’re using it. It is also a strong anti-fraud technology. A common fraudulent practice, known as time-theft or buddy punching, involves an emplpoyee signing an absent friend into an attendance system, using their PIN or punch card. The result: crafty truant workers getting paid for not attending work. With biometrics, this kind of theft is no longer a concern, as an iris, face or finger requires its attached person to be present for ID verification.
Biometric time and attendance solutions are diverse, spanning a range of modalities. Click the links below to read articles pertaining to a variety of time and attendance technologies.
As mentioned above, one of the great benefits of tracking time and attendance with biometrics is the ability to cut down of fraud. Buddy punching essentially equates to theft, and having the strong verification of biometric technology remove that variable is a great cost saver. Of course, the accountability also works in favor of the public too. As you will see with some of the examples listed in the articles below, biometric time and attendance is being used to keep tabs on government workers, and weed out corruption in the African public sector.
Wherever there are large groups of people that need to be accounted for, biometric time and attendance solutions have a place for deployment. Thanks to its Aadhaar national ID program, many applications of this featured technology can be found throughout India – everywhere from clinics to classrooms. We also see it deployed around the world, in supermarkets, hotels and offices. The links below will give you a good idea of where we’re seeing biometric time and attendance solutions deployed today.
Biometric time and attendance is not without its share of controversy. The 2014 Florida statewide ban of biometrics in schools can be traced back to outrage over the implementation of an attendance tracking iris scanner on a school bus, and this year already we’ve seen two major instances of resistance when it comes to time tracking in the workplace. Worries regarding privacy have long plagued the biometrics industry, and in situations when workers feel pressured into submitting biometric data for time tracking purposes (as opposed to choosing biometric security themselves, as is the case with consumer authentication tech), those same issues spring up.
Join us throughout May as we continue to examine biometrics in time and attendance. Be a part of the conversation by following FindBiometrics on Twitter and tweet using the hashtag #FBTimeMonth.
May 6, 2015 – by Peter B. Counter