Who will stop the registration of fingerprints at companies?
Today became known that temp agency Tempo-Team wants to require temporary workers to clock in and out using their fingerprints. By definition, this constitutes an infringement of the right to privacy and bodily integrity: after all, fingerprints are highly personal and form an inseparable part of a person's body and identity. This invasion of privacy is unjustified, as it is not necessary and disproportionate. This constitutes an unlawful privacybreach.
Privacy First has been receiving complaints for years about fingerprint registration at businesses, including gyms, swimming pools and video stores. Privacy First's position is that such registration should never become mandatory but always voluntary should be and should be accompanied by a privacy-friendly alternative. Indeed, even "voluntary" registration can still involve privacy violations: after all, under pressure from an employer, there will often be no legally valid (free, unforced) consent from employees or agency workers to have their fingerprints registered. In other words, besides privacy violation, there is often abuse of power and, in the sphere of private services between companies and customers, unfair commercial practices. The degree of security (through encryption) is irrelevant here: after all, this does not detract from the fact that people are unjustly forced to have their fingerprints registered. The same applies to business considerations of "efficiency": this is insufficient to justify an invasion of privacy.
It is high time to put an end to these practices, either through intervention by the Data Protection Authority or through a lawsuit. Would you like to start such a case yourself? Then take contact on with the Privacy First Foundation!
It would be even better, however, if companies understood that privacy is a human right that they themselves should respect towards their employees and customers. Corporate social responsibility in 2015 is privacy-friendly business. Privacy can be a selling point are. With our new initiative Privacy First Solutions we are happy to offer companies a helping hand (and possibly even a stage) in this regard!
Update: listen HERE to the interviews with Privacy First on this topic on Radio 1 and BNR Nieuwsradio.