The Empire Ballroom, a nightclub in Edmonton, had its recently installed thumbprint reader, intended to track employee punching in and out of work, declared legal by the province’s privacy commissioner on high-tech devices, according to a Vancouver Sun article. The investigation by the commissioner was started after a female employee complained that the device was an invasion of privacy.
The ruling helps businesses that are thinking about using biometrics to replace inaccurate punch clocks for employee. The privacy commissioner says businesses are free to use the devices, but warns that privacy protections need to be put in place.
Specifically, the nightclub as well as a similar case at a Calgary nursing home, was ruled legal insofar as the devices does not store the individuals actual fingerprint information, but an identification number that is a mathematical representation of the fingerprint.
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