International Student Expert Network
by on October 23, 2019

The student gyms USC Amsterdam (Amsterdam University and Hogeschool van Amsterdam) and USC Leiden (Leiden University) breach their clients ' confidentiality. Athletes need to use an entry fingerprint scanning system without providing an effective option. This is contrary to the law, according to the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP).  The entry system based on fingerprint scanners is not banned by law, but according to the AP, a gym or related venue must provide an option or properly notify users of this.

As they are particularly sensitive, the regulator looks more carefully at fingerprints and other biometric data. Like, for example, an access pass, you can't just replace a fingerprint. Therefore, a review of this information can only be carried out if a client expressly approves. Customers need to be well informed about this.  Customers are not informed of an alternative to a finger scan at both the USC Amsterdam and the USC Leiden if they want to exercise there.

USC Leiden will change policies, Athletes can also join in the "shortest possible duration" without a fingerprint if they wish. In a statement, the USC Amsterdam says consumers can also get a paper ticket and the sports center complies with the rule. Nevertheless, the review indicates that this is not consciously notified by its members.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority has confirmed that it will not address specific situations, but stresses that, among other aspects, sports location consumers need to be well advised about the use of finger scanning systems.

Also in use in Tilburg and VU Amsterdam The Sports Center (Tilburg University, Avans Hogeschool and Fontys Hogescholen) in Tilburg operate with a fingerprint scanning system, but offer an alternative for this. In order to gain access to sports facilities, customers can identify themselves at the entrance.

Of example, a judge has not yet ruled on a matter between a gym and a customer, as far as is understood. While a court can decide otherwise, as a monitor, the AP has an authoritative role.

Posted in: Law, Sports
Topics: privacy, biometrics
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