On April 28, 2020, the Dutch Supervisory Authority (“Dutch SA”) announced its decision to impose a fine of €725,000 on a company for unlawfully processing the biometric data of its employees.

In 2018, the company concerned installed an access and time management system that collected and processed biometric templates of employees’ fingerprints.  This initiative came about following indications of fraudulent use of the company’s existing badge-based time management system.  After installation, the company’s old system co-existed with the new system, and employees were free to choose the method by which to sign in to work.  One of the employees subsequently filed a complaint with the Dutch SA, which led to this investigation.

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Immigration Policy Center last week released an interesting report on law enforcement’s increasing efforts to gather biometric data, and associated risks of data inaccuracy, racial profiling, erroneous deportations, security breaches, and privacy invasions.  The report calls for greater accountability in the biometrics context, including collection and retention limitations; clear rules for collection, use, and sharing; robust security; notice requirements; and independent oversight. 

In recent months, a number of policymakers have raised concerns about both public and private collection of biometric data.  For example,

Continue Reading Biometric Data Under the Privacy Microscope