Seen in India: Biometric staff tracking systems

While we were travelling around in India earlier this year, I saw lots of interesting, fascinating, curious, and worrying things.

At the door of a hotel we were staying in in one city, I saw this biometric ((Wikipedia article on Biometrics recognition system by a company called Kanoe Systems ((Kanoe company website who make “time and attendance systems”.

Biometric recognition systems recognise humans and grant (or deny) privileges based on “physiological characteristics are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odour/scent”. ((Extract from Wikipedia article on Biometrics))

The purpose of the system in this photo is to record staff entry and exit times of people, and tie it to biometric characteristics, in this case possibly fingerprint and face.

The green glowing panel on the right hand side is the fingerprint reader, while the black square with the purple lights around it is the facial recognition camera.

The member of staff presumably must agree to register their finger prints, and face in order to work at the hotel.

From reading their website, these entries and exits can then be tied to payroll systems.

Since I wasn’t registered, it wouldn’t recognise my face. (Img 1 and 2 below)

Hotel staff biometric recognition system
Img 1: Hotel staff biometric recognition system. It was trying to recognise my face.
Hotel staff biometric recognition system
Img 2: Hotel staff biometric recognition system, no face on file – “not found”.

I hope the users biometric data is securely stored, access to it is audited to make sure only required people have access and it can be deleted once they leave.

It is worrying that these systems are being used for recording staff entry and exits. It shows a lack of faith in staff members. I wonder what staff members think?


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