Finger scanning gets thumbs down

Time and attendance technology runs up against privacy
By Lorna Harris
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/03/2007

When shingle manufacturer IKO Industries tried to introduce a fingertip scanning system to track timekeeping, payroll and security issues at its Hawkesbury, Ont., plant, only three of the more than 80 employees in the bargaining unit turned up to enrol.

This dismal turnout was evidence that, despite a series of presentations by representatives of Kronos Technology, the company providing the new finger-scan system, the fears of the employees had not been allayed. Chiefly they were concerned that the personal information they provided could be used for other purposes than payroll timekeeping, citing fears of “constant surveillance,” and of unauthorized background checks and credit checks.

A Kronos pamphlet designed to explain away those very concerns only added fuel to the fire in advising that its biometrics could be used for just such procedures. Employees were also worried that an outside hacker could steal information from system.