Australia: Monash Council’s debate on Bometric library scannersSep 14th, 2011 | By Innovya | Category: News | Print This Post
13 SEP 11 @ 04:48PM BY TIM MICHELL
UPDATE 8pm: MONASH Council tonight met to consider plans to use biometric scanners to monitor library staff.
The system would involve staff checking in and out of work by having their fingers scanned, rather than using timesheets.
But Australian Services Union assistant branch secretary Igor Grattan said the system was an invasion of privacy that angered library staff and councillors.
“Staff have a very real concern about what it means for their privacy and how the information will be used,” he said.
“A lot of the workers are part-time workers and casual workers … they’re worried that if they speak up they could be out of a job.”
Five Monash councillors called a special meeting for tonight to push to ban the use of the scanners.
But after a meeting lasting 10 minutes, councillors voted to consider the idea further before making a decision.
Cr Geoff Lake said he was determined to block the “draconian” technology.
“Our staff are our greatest asset and they deserve to be treated as intelligent human beings and not like cattle.”
Council chief executive David Conran said the system would not be introduced unless it was widely accepted by staff and did not compromise their security.
Mr Grattan said several questions remained unanswered about the system, but staff told the union the council wanted to start the rollout next month.
A council spokesman said Woolworths and the public sector used similar systems.
Woolworths’ Siobhan Quinn said the company had used finger scanners for about 15 years with no major issues.
Follow as Monash Council debates the issue live tonight.