Israel’s National Labor Court has ruled that employers cannot compel their staff to participate in a biometric time and attendance system based on fingerprint scanning, reports Bloomberg BNA.
The case, Histadrut General Labor Fed’n v. Qalansuwa Municipality, was resolved in favor of workers’ privacy rights with respect to biometric data. In a panel ruling, head Judge Lea Glicksman asserted, “A fingerprint is private and personal data, and its very provision harms the privacy and autonomy of its provider,” adding that there is also a “real risk that the fingerprint could be abused or used other than for the purpose it was given.”
The ruling may reflect an increasing sensitivity around this issue in Israel, with the Israeli legislature having recently passed a law making enrollment in a national biometric ID program mandatory. The law entails the dissemination of ID cards containing facial and fingerprint data, but allows citizens to exempt themselves from the submission of fingerprint data, with the penalty that they must renew their IDs more frequently.
While fingerprint-based time and attendance tracking systems appear to be increasingly popular around the world, their implementation has met resistance elsewhere, as in the case of city workers who protested against biometric time clocks in San Francisco, for example.
Source: Bloomberg BNA
March 21, 2017 – by Alex Perala