Irish Hotel Under Fire for Biometric Use

28th August 2007 (Last Updated August 28th, 2007 05:49)

Ireland's privacy watchdog has expressed concern after a hotel in Dublin introduced a biometric system to record employees' attendance at work. The Gresham Hotel uses a system known as Time Point, which records employees clocking in and out by recognising five points on their hands.

Ireland’s privacy watchdog has expressed concern after a hotel in Dublin introduced a biometric system to record employees’ attendance at work.

The Gresham Hotel uses a system known as Time Point, which records employees clocking in and out by recognising five points on their hands.

The system, which uses reflector plates and a camera that photographs the back of the hand, does not record fingerprints.

Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes says he is concerned about the growing use of biometric systems in the workplace, “regardless of the type of biometric information collected or the technology used,” newspaper the Irish Independent reports.

The Commissioner’s office says it has not been contacted by the hotel in relation to the introduction of a biometric system, and it expects “full justification” for the introduction of such technology.

SIPTU, the union representing workers at the hotel, is investigating whether use of the system infringes employee rights.