Biometric Data Webinar: What Are the Risks and Rewards?
As states start to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have well founded fears about employee safety.
Businesses owners may worry over if they have enough gloves and masks to keep their employees and customers safe, while offices are starting to develop testing and tracing programs so that they can track the virus’ spread in their workforce.
In the fight to keep the workforce and the public healthy, some offices are turning to biometric technology solutions to assist in bringing people back to work and stemming the spread of the virus.
Biometric tools, such as those that check an employee’s temperature, can be used alongside artificial intelligence to track and trace infections of the virus.
These tools can be valuable in preventing further infections, but they can also infringe on a workers’ private health information, especially if a company inadvertently alerts an employee’s coworkers to their illness.
“Employers have to be very very careful about what they’re collecting, but they also have to be careful that they’re not contributing to further spread of the virus,” said Kelly Geary, managing principal and national practice leader, executive and cyber risks, EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants.
Geary also serves as Coverage Counsel & Claims Leader for Lemme, a division of EPIC.
The use of biometric data isn’t new, however. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, biometric data was becoming a lot more common.
Retinal scans, facial recognition and thumbprints were being used in place of pins and passwords. Companies were utilizing these new technologies to strengthen security, combat fraud, monitor employee time and improve customer service, according to a recent article by Geary.
While these technologies have their advantages — after all, no one can forget their password if it’s their thumbprint — they can also bring in additional cyber risks that companies might not be prepared to handle.
In a recent webinar, Geary, along with Richard Sheridan, chief claims officer of Berkley Cyber Solutions, spoke with Dan Reynolds, editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance®, about both the benefits and the downsides of using biometric technologies in the workplace. &