Many companies worry about the use of biometrics as they fear the compromise of data and complying with GDPR rules.
But as this article explains, adopting biometric security technology in the workplace within a GDPR context offers a super secure environment with many benefits. As long as appropriate digital security experts, such Arana Security are used for the implementation and as importantly underpinned with transparent internal communications to staff.
They are allies in the war on cyber security and keeping consumers safe online. Albeit coming at it from different directions. But it is understandable that clarity is sought by some employers.
UK GDPR rules require that sensitive personal data be protected and managed correctly, whilst biometric technology offers a secure future-proofed way to ensure individual validation is seamlessly and sophisticatedly processed. It has been dubbed ‘the security of the future,’ as relying on characteristics that differentiate us from one another (fingerprint, voice, iris, etc) for validation is far more secure than traditional methods such as passwords.
Passwords can be easily guessed and breached and reportedly account for more than ‘three quarters of workplace infringements in security.’ We know that biometric authentication offers a much more secure way to combating fraud and misconduct.
Adopting the innovative technology of biometrics offers so much to businesses in terms of processing, virtual management capabilities and, of course, increased security. Another major advantage cited by industry bosses is the reliability and convenience of biometric access, especially as they offer real-time fingerprint enrolment at multiple locations.
GDPR regulation is primarily concerned with the storage and use of personal data. The GDPR outline defines biometric security as “personal data resulting from specific technical processing relating to the physical, physiological or behavioural characteristics of a natural person, which allow or confirm the unique identification of that natural person.”
As biometric data is categorised as a ‘special category’ of personal data, employers must meet one of the below legislative conditions when implementing biometric technology. Further reading on special category can be found here.
- Your data subject (employees) has given explicit consent to the use of biometric authentication;
- Biometric security is necessary for the purposes of carrying out obligations and exercising the specific rights of the data controller or of the data subject (employees) in the fields of employment, social security and social protection law
- The processing of biometrics is critical for protecting the vital interests of the data subject;
- The processing is necessary for the workplace and exercise of defends of legal claims;
- Biometrics is essential for reasons of public interests
- GDPR compliance should naturally be adhered to at all stages of implementing biometric access control systems and security.
The fundamental advice for adopting biometrics in the age of the GDPR, is to ensure you use an accredited biometric security company to manage the implementation and encryption process. In addition, it is also important to ensure you have robust and transparent communications with employees.
Staff need to be engaged along the journey and reassured that in no way will their fingerprint data be stored or compromised. Staff may be naturally concerned by a change in system and therefore it is important for compliance, indeed a legal requirement that staff opting in to using biometric authentic.
An honest and timely communications engagement plan will assist internal stakeholders to adopt the technology and see its benefits from the start.