Finger-scanning to clock-on and off for Allied Health Professionals?!

Biometric finger-scanners, for clocking on and off work, are already a reality in some workplaces and, according to reports from members, are being considered in many more.

To pin-point which workplaces have already or are proposing to implement biometric scanning, we ask every VAHPA member to complete this very quick survey.

VAHPA is opposed to biometric scanning systems in the workplace, as it contributes to the creeping over-surveillance of working people and poses a significant privacy risk.

VAHPA members may be concerned about biometric surveillance to differing degrees, but for those who are concerned, we are determined to provide a clear and firm response to employers, defending your right to biometric privacy and identity security.

In a recent case before the Fair Work Commission a timber-mill worker, Jeremy Lee, who was sacked for refusing to submit his fingerprint, subsequently won his Unfair Dismissal claim on appeal. The Commission’s full bench found that it was reasonable for Mr Lee to refuse to consent to providing his biometric data, and that his employer did not have a valid reason to sack him. Mr Lee’s case sets a strong precedent supporting our stance to reject this draconian practice of surveillance.

While employers argue that their systems are safe and secure and can’t be hacked, the State Government recently demonstrated how vulnerable hospital data networks really are.

Data security specialists, commissioned by the Victorian Auditor General to test Victorian health services’ data security, were able to remotely access supposedly secure, personal patient health records at three major Victorian hospitals. If hospitals can’t keep private patient records secure, there is no way they can guarantee the security of your biometric data. Biometric data can’t be reset or replaced. If your data is compromised, then it is compromised for the rest of your life.

Employers’ claims that finger-scanning makes employee management safer and more efficient are proven false  by feedback from members indicating that it has not addressed problems with unpaid overtime and creates unforeseen problems with workplace time management. Further, employers have provided no evidence to suggest any abuse of existing time recording systems that may warrant such an authoritarian change.

VAHPA takes this issue very seriously and we encourage members to do the same. Help us by completing the survey, so that we know which workplaces have already implemented, or are proposing to implement, biometric scanning, and where VAHPA needs to fight back.