Fingerprint scanners to curb Indian public servant absenteeism

Summary:India's department of personnel and training will be making use of a biometrics access system where workers will need to use their fingerprints to log in their attendance and work hours.

India's department of personnel and training is building a fingerprint scanning system to regulate building access for 2,000 employees, and as a way for them to log their work hours.

In a tender released last week for a "Biometrics Access System", the department requested for 12 scanners to record the arrival and departure timings of staff, who coordinate the human resource matters for all Central Government employees.

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Indian public servants will need to log their working hours via a fingerprints-based system.

The department said the software supporting the system should produce a monthly report nominating "defaulters"--the number of employees that did not work their designated hours.

"An alert should be generated and sent to the e-mail ID of all employees on the penultimate Monday of every month indicating their shortfall in the working hours for that month," the department said in the documents. 

To be built at its New Delhi offices, the fingerprint-based system should be "sturdy, tamper proof, and immune to the vagaries of nature, dust, and etc," the department outlined in the bid documents.
 
Independent law researcher Usha Ramanathan told ZDNet there were no protocols or regulations in place about the collection and management of biometric information.
 
Staff have no choice but to surrender their biometric information, she said.
 
"One huge problem is in the way in which the different kinds of people in the hierarchy can capture any information they want. They tell you to give and you've got to give," Ramanathan added. " Privacy is not just about you not knowing about me, it's also about personal security." 

Topics: Privacy, Government : Asia, India, IT Employment

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Mahesh Sharma earned his pen licence in his homeland, where he covered the technology industry for ZDNet, SMH, Sky Business News, and The Australian--first as an FTE, and later as a freelancer. The latter fueled his passion for startups and empowered a unique perspective on entrepreneurs' passion to solve problems using technology. Armed... Full Bio

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