UK's GMB to launch awareness campaign on workplace biometrics
11 June 2019 16:03 GMT

GMB to launch awareness campaign on employers taking biometric information to sign in and out of work without reasonable grounds

Collecting data without safeguards puts personal data at risk and confidential and private information are in great danger of being breached, says GMB London

GMB Congress has passed a motion calling for an awareness campaign against employers taking biometric information to sign in and out of work without reasonable grounds such as security and privacy. The motion was passed at GMB’s annual Congress in Brighton.

The union believes companies that are insisting on fingerprinting employees or eye scans usage are doing so to impose more control and subservience on employees and to save money, and object to biometric data being collected in the workplace without reasonable grounds.

A survey by IT professional community Spiceworks showed that almost three in five organisations (57%) today use fingerprint scanning to verify an employee’s identity or monitor workplace activity. However, results also showed 64% of IT experts are concerned about the risks of false positives, while 57 percent are concerned identifiers can be compromised or replicated, and 50% are concerned about the lack of standards [1].

Exposure of biometric data poses unique data privacy risks and ramifications on multiple levels. Once your biometric data has been leaked or compromised, it puts workers at continual risk for identity-based attacks.

The 102nd GMB Congress, comprises of 500 elected lay members and 300 visitors and guests. GMB Congress delegates were elected from the GMB membership to represent over 640,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland and every sector of the economy. Congress is the supreme policy making body in GMB.

Warren Kenny, GMB Regional Secretary said:

“Collecting data without safeguards puts personal data at risk and confidential and private information are in great danger of being breached.

“This awareness campaign will help inform members of their rights in this area of employment and understand that not all workplaces will be able to withstand by industrial means, employers undertaking such practices.

“Where any collection of biometric data is being used or even proposed to be used, GMB will support our members in ensuring that their very personal data is not used improperly, or even collected at all.”