Apple has told manufacturing partners that biometric data such as face and fingerprint scans of its employees around the world can no longer be collected under new factory security guidelines, according to The Information.
The new rule will not apply to staff of Apple partners, more than one million people, many of whom must continue to undergo biometric examinations to gain access to areas where new Apple products are produced, Apple Insider reports citing an internal Apple document seen by The Information.
The directive, which is part of Apple’s new security protocol, also requires partner companies to strengthen security controls around the factory environment and to upgrade their component tracking systems to monitor and protect intellectual property, Apple Insider noted. As part of the new policy, Apple has also asked its partners to conduct a criminal background check on assembly line workers.
Apple’s manufacturing partner Wistron was also reportedly told to install multiple facial biometrics terminals in its facility.
Sources who spoke to The Information said they saw the new directive as a double standard of privacy. There are also concerns about the cost of biometric checks because some Apple partners, especially in China, employ between 1.4 and 1.8 million workers each year.
Apple’s decision to stop biometric checks for its employees comes after reports that Amazon is conducting face recognition checks on its drivers.
Apple | background checks biometric data biometric identification biometrics data collection face recognition fingerprints privacy