The use of biometrics at theme parks, airports and in the workplace, has become ubiquitous. However, facial recognition for the purpose of recording an employee time in/out at work, is different than what it is being used at an airport. For example, a biometric time clock, in a workplace will record (for the purpose of payroll) the time an employee clocked in for a day or week-whereas, the purpose of biometrics at an airport will be for security and a range of other purposes.
Installing biometrics in the workplace can help with HR related issues like time theft, buddy punching and payroll errors. However, it is important to let your employees know if you decide to install biometrics for the purpose of tracking time and attendance, especially if your company, have been using paper time sheets to track hours before that.
In a recent article titled, Workers push back as companies gather fingerprints, retina scans by Te-Ping Chen for The Wall Street Journal amoung other publications, an excerpt of the article reads in part;
“As more companies track their workers with fingerprint and facial scans, employees are increasingly challenging firms in court over how that biometric data gets used and stored.
Scores of lawsuits have been filed following a recent state Supreme Court ruling in Illinois, which has the most stringent privacy law protecting such information in the U.S. The suits assert that employees weren’t told what would happen to their biometric data and that it is being put at risk.
Some workers said they don’t see the need for biometrics in the workplace.
“It’s not a secretive place that we work in,” said one worker at a country club outside Detroit, whose employer uses fingerprints to take attendance. She said she was uncomfortable with the practice, adding that she hadn’t been told how her information would be used or stored.
From warehouses to restaurants, the use of biometric data is moving from a niche practice to become a more mainstream way to verify employee hours and check workers in and out of facilities for security reasons. Among companies in the U.S., Europe and Canada surveyed in 2018 by Gartner, 6 percent said they track employees by using biometric data. Europe and Canada surveyed in 2018 by Gartner, 6 percent said they track employees by using biometric data.”
Bottom line: If you decide to explore the many options that a biometric time clock system offers, let your employees know of your intention. Chances are they will be more accepting if they know in advance and you will avoid issues of them not being receptive to it. Afterall, employees are familiar with biometric technology and have likely used them at airports or with their current smartphone.