It is almost ironic how the time clock has been passed over and over for a much needed upgrade. In fact, we have been seeing the fingerprint or iris recognition technology used in action movies for more than two decades now and for the past ten years we have had laptops available that use a fingerprint locking mechanism. So the technology has been perfected and it has been available for several years, and yet consumer uptake has not been as fast as you would expect for a James Bond kind of technology. And yet there are more advantages to using this system than just the Hollywood factor.
The most important reason why the PC-based biometric time clock represents a revolutionary technology for businesses is that it would put an immediate stop to buddy punching. The fact that the system relies on fingerprints, finger vein, palm vein or iris scans means that there is no way for someone who has not yet come to work to be punched in. And because the system is already connected to an online system, it communicates directly to the payroll system, so there is guaranteed savings in salary payments of 2-4%. Most biometric time clock providers have already developed software so there should not be any problem implementing the system. And once it is set in place it can be operated fairly easily. Its intuitive interface can generate all the reports a management team would need.
However the best thing about the biometric time clock is that it actually costs less than your average card or token version. That is mainly because it does not use any cards so there is no need for a special printer or specialized personnel taking photos of workers. Even more beneficial, is that the change is salutary for the employees as well. They no longer need to worry about misplacing their ID card, about having it with them all the time, or about waiting for one when they move to a new workplace. A simple print scan will welcome any newcomer on board and from then on he or she can be assigned his or her exact level of access with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Still, the fact that the system works based on a fingerprint scan is what has many people worried. Seeing how only people with a criminal record have their fingerprints taken, there are those who argue that using this system is just another form of control, and that their fingerprints could all too easily reach the police even if they have done nothing wrong. However, the designers of the system point to the fact that the scanner only picks out four to five characteristics of the print and only stores those characteristics, not the print itself. In actuality it would slow the system down to scan and match the entire print every time, so it does make a lot of sense that the system, as it exists today, is not a threat to individual privacy.
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