Turkey halts biometric healthcare registration
19 November 2014 15:58 GMT

Turkey’s Council of State says biometric registration of patients is unconstitutional

Turkey’s Council of State has ruled that biometric registration of patients must stop as it is unconstitutional. The body made the decision in response to lawsuits raised against scanning patient’s palms by the Turkish Physicians Association and other groups.

The Turkish Social Security Institution introduced biometric identification for patients in 2012 to combat abuse and inefficiencies in the existing healthcare payments system. The authentication solution uses Fujitsu PalmSecure palm vein authentication.

Healthcare service providers are still obligated to identify applicants, but they are no longer required to register or identify patients using biometric data, said the Council of State.

The Council of State concluded that requiring biometric identity authentication as a condition of receiving health services is contrary to the Turkish Constitution, reasoning that government action affecting privacy can only be regulated by parliamentary acts, to prevent arbitrary interference of public bodies, wrote an analysis in legal magazine Lexology.

"This decision is significant as it is yet another demonstration of Turkey's increased awareness of data privacy issues at the highest levels of government".

 In July, Hitachi also announced a roll-out of mobile Wi-Fi scanners featuring finger vein authentication technology at several individual private hospitals, hospital groups and dialysis centres in Turkey as well as the Memorial Healthcare Group.