Apple introduces new biometric check rule for its employees worldwide

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Apple has told manufacturing partners that biometric data such as facial scans and fingerprints of its employees across the globe can no longer be collected under new factory security guidelines, according to The Information.

The new rule will not apply to Apple partners’ staff, more than one million people, many of whom must continue to undergo biometric scans in order to gain access to areas where Apple’s new products are being manufactured, Apple Insider reports, referring to an internal Apple document seen by The Information.

The directive, which is part of Apple’s new security protocol, also demands partner companies to reinforce security surveillance around factory environments, and to make upgrades to their component-tracking systems in order to monitor and safeguard intellectual property, Apple Insider noted. As part of the new policy, Apple has also requested its partners to carry out criminal background checks on assembly line workers.

Apple manufacturing partner Wistron has also reportedly been told to install more face biometrics terminals in its facility.

Sources who spoke to The Information said they saw the new directive as a privacy double standard. There are also concerns about the cost of the biometric checks as some of Apple’s partners, specifically in China, are said to employ between 1.4 and 1.8 million workers every year.

The decision by Apple to stop biometric checks for its employees is coming on the heels of a report that Amazon is performing facial recognition checks on its drivers.

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