Biometric attendance systems have gained popularity in the past decade across industries, but with this technology comes concerns around data usage.
As more companies are looking to implement attendance systems, more and more companies are looking to biometric systems for their security benefits. With better technology developed in the past decade, prices have decreased for these attendance systems. These systems have become common among many different industries and services. Biometric time and attendance systems generally use one of three methods to clock in employees:
- Fingerprint scanner
- Palm scanner
- Iris scanner
Through these methods, employees are about to securely “clock in” to work. Business owners also use this method to digitize old attendance systems and provide an easier recording of the time employees worked. These systems provide ease of use and security for both businesses and employees. If you’d like to learn more about these systems check out our other article that does a full breakdown of biometric systems:
However, companies should work to implement a biometric time and attendance policy to protect their business.
Concerns & Policy Implementation for Biometric Time and Attendance Systems
While biometric time and attendance systems have many benefits, there are some concerns surrounding the data biometric systems use. Employee data used in biometric systems is sensitive and must be protected. The storage of this data is then critical for companies and has even spurned action in some states. In states such as Illinois, Texas, Washington, and New York, laws have been passed and enacted to protect employees and businesses. While these laws have variations, there are some key points companies can use to keep their business safe from lawsuits or other risks.
Companies need to ask and record consent from employees to use biometric systems. They need to consent to have their data stored and they need to be informed on how their data is being used. For instance, employees should know and consent to have their hours worked by a third-party payroll service. This consent needs to be gained before employees start using the system. Companies can institute this process during the onboarding process.
Employers should not be selling, leasing, trading, or profiting from any employee data obtained through your biometric system. State governments are moving rapidly to outlaw this practice so it’s best that companies institute this policy from the beginning. Not only that but selling employee data can open your business up to lawsuits and build unrest within your company. Your employees need to know that you have their best interests at heart. Set clear guidelines about using employee data and protecting sensitive information.
Some companies will use biometric time systems with HR software to record time and other factors. Employers should be upfront about these combinations and strive for the best security practices. Doing so will protect both the company and the employees from a data breach. Before using an HR provider, make sure to review their security measure for data storage and transfer. How can they ensure your data won’t be breached? What measure can they enact if there is a data breach? You should know:
- How your information is stored
- How it is transferred
- Will your information be destroyed and how
- The purpose of all information shared
Biometric time and attendance systems have not only grown in popularity but continue to make technological advancements. This means that your biometric time and attendance policy should be changed to keep up to date with new technology implementation. If you are going to institute a new system, consult with an expert or lawyer about how to best implement the system. Not only to protect your employees but the future of the company.
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