Finger scanners to keep tabs on librarians


Finger scanners to keep tabs on librarians
Librarians are used to scanning books, but the librarians themselves may be getting scanned if a local council in suburban Melbourne has its way. The AM program has revealed that the City of Monash in Melbourne's south-east is planning to introduce vein scanning technology to track employees' work hours.

The council says it is still considering the plan and has made no definite decision yet, but the Australian Services Union says the council has confirmed it is planning to introduce the scanners in its libraries next month.


I don't see the big deal but then I am a hospital librarian and ALL hospital employees use the finger scanner to clock in. That is our time clock. I was told that in our large system that people were clocking other people in and out at times and this prevents that abuse. I don't know how big the library is and whether they are using it for that reason, but it is no big deal here. The biggest problem our insitution has is that nurses and doctors wash their hands soo much that their fingers get extremely chapped and it is hard to get a reading.

And biometrics are necessarily common across different functions. Just as you should never use the same password on two different systems, the same encryption key should not be used for two different applications. If my fingerprint is used to start my car, unlock my medical records, and read my electronic mail, then it's not hard to imagine some very unsecure situations arising.

Two separate issues - one is minute-by-minute tracking of time. If that's common among other workers in that town, then maybe it's OK. I think employees should be measured by output/accomplishments more than time, but what is appropriate depends on the type of task being done.

But biometrics is fraught with problems in terms of security and also in terms of worker rights.

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