Biometric security systems are unlawful

It is illegal for companies to operate security systems that use employees’ biometric data, including fingerprints, to check who is leaving or entering a building, Greece’s privacy watchdog has ruled. In a decision made public yesterday, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD) ruled that an unnamed plastics company had illegally installed fingerprint recognition devices at its premises. The firm argued that the extra security was necessary because highly flammable materials are stored at its factory and there is a high risk of unsupervised visitors being electrocuted. The APPD rejected these arguments and said the security system was also used to monitor when employees arrived and left work. The watchdog said the use of biometric data for this purpose is illegal.