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Biometrics and Privacy

08 Sep

This morning, while doing errands, I heard the following story on the radio titled Local Councils plan to use vein scanners to clock staff hours. I paid particular attention as the biometric scanners are being installed by a local council in Melbourne and it will be in libraries. As I am studying librarianship and am from Melbourne, it became personal.

The invasion of privacy under the increasingly ubiquitous surveillance landscape is certainly something I am concerned with.  What about the storage of this biometric data of individuals? Digital files are easily hacked, accessed or corrupted and the storing of individual data in this way for a purpose of tracking employee time at work is questionable.

Privacy is a longheld concern. Any attempt at invading individual privacy is something that all should stand up against. What are the rights of the individual in this circumstance? When you are faced with the imbalance in power relations of employer/employee, then how many can courageously speak up when faced with such a situation? When considering minors, then how many will accept that this is the way it is? I am only touching on the surface here. Dig deeper and the scenario is less than palatable for anyone.

Yes, I am concerned and there is reason to be!

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