Elevate | Fit Tech promotion
Elevate | Fit Tech promotion
Elevate | Fit Tech promotion
FIT TECH News

Eight leisure operators issued warnings over the use of biometric data

By
Eight leisure operators have been issued with enforcement notices regarding the use of biometric data
The UK's Information Commissioner’s Office says the activity breaches new data protection law. The warning relates to the use of fingerprint and facial recognition technology
The operators have been using biometrics for years to measure attendance. They must now desist and destroy all data
The ICO has singled out Serco Leisure in its press release relating to the ruling. Fit Tech editor, Liz Terry, has challenged this decision to victimise Serco

The ICO has ruled that eight leisure operators have been unlawfully processing the biometric data of their employees to be used for attendance checks and the resulting salary payments.

Enforcement notices have been issued instructing the organisations in question to stop the processing of biometric data for monitoring employees’ attendance at work, as well as to destroy all biometric data that they are not legally obliged to retain within three months.

Enforcement notices have been issued to Serco Leisure, Serco Jersey, Birmingham Community Leisure Trust, Bolton Community Leisure, Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, More Leisure Community Trust, Northern Community Leisure Trust, Maidstone Leisure Trust and Swale Community Leisure.

The ICO argued that the trusts failed to show why it is necessary, or proportionate, to use facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanning when there are less intrusive means available, such as ID cards or fobs.

John Edwards, UK information commissioner at the ICO, said: "Biometric data is wholly unique to a person so the risks of harm in the event of inaccuracies, or a security breach, are much greater. You can't reset someone's face or fingerprint like you can reset a password.

The ICO has singled out Serco Leisure in making its ruling, press-releasing its decision with Serco as the lead subject line and in a statement Edwards continued this targeting of the company, saying: “Serco Leisure did not fully consider the risks before introducing biometric technology to monitor staff attendance, prioritising business interests over its employees’ privacy. There is no clear way for staff to opt out of the system, increasing the power imbalance in the workplace and putting people in a position where they feel like they have to hand over their biometric data to work there.

“This is neither fair nor proportionate under data protection law, and, as the UK regulator, we will closely scrutinise organisations and act decisively if we believe biometric data is being used unlawfully.”

A Serco Leisure spokesperson has defended its decision to implement the technology, pointing out that it has been in use for many years and that the ICO had been aware for some considerable time of the situation, but saying it's taking the matter seriously and will fully comply with the enforcement notice.

“This technology was introduced at the leisure centres we manage nearly five years ago to make clocking-in and out easier and simpler for colleagues," said Serco.

"We engaged with our team members in advance of its roll-out and its introduction was well-received by colleagues. The introduction also followed external legal advice which said use of the technology was permitted.

“Despite being aware of Serco Leisure's use of this technology for some years, the ICO have only this week issued an enforcement notice and requested that we take action. We now understand this coincides with the publication of new guidance for organisations on processing of biometric data which we anticipate will provide greater clarity in this area."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said "We strongly question the ICO's decision to single out Serco Leisure for such high-level publicity in relation to this ruling, given there are eight operators named in this action and all have been equally advised.

"Given the sensitive nature of this matter, it seems extremely unreasonable to do this, most especially as the timing of the ICO's announcement coincides with the a launch of its new guidance note.

"It should not be the position of any Quango to victimise individual organisations and cause them reputational harm in this way."

The ICO is funded through data protection fees and fines.

More fit tech news
Peloton has secured a critical US$1bn five-year loan to shore up its finances. The loan has repayment terms which are ...
news • 24 May 2024
Peloton Interactive Inc is believed to be working to get its costs under control in a bid to align with ...
news • 08 May 2024
HoloBike, a holographic training bike that simulates trail rides in lifelike 3D, is aiming to push indoor cycling technology up ...
news • 08 May 2024
Xplor Technologies has unveiled a financing solution for small businesses, which aims to counter the traditional lending process and help ...
news • 08 May 2024
Moonbird is a tactile breathing coach, which provides real-time biofeedback, measuring heart rate and heart rate variability. Studies show it ...
news • 02 May 2024
Atlanta-based boutique fitness software company, Xplor Mariana Tek, has kicked off a push for international expansion. Shannon Tracey, VP of ...
news • 18 Apr 2024
The JD Gyms Group has completed a deal to acquire Simply Gym from Bay Leisure. The deal comprises four gyms: ...
More HCM news
Portugese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has launched a health and wellness app that harmonises advice on fitness, nutrition and mental wellness ...
news • 05 Apr 2024
Egym, has signalled its intention to become a dominant force in the corporate wellness sector with the acquisition of UK-based ...
news • 27 Mar 2024
Egym, which raised €207 million last year in new investment, continues to build its top team with the appointment of ...
news • 21 Mar 2024
The UK government acknowledged in its recent budget that economic recovery depends on the health of the nation, but failed ...
news • 11 Mar 2024
Technogym is launching Checkup, an assessment station which uses AI to personalise training programmes in order to create more effective ...
news • 06 Mar 2024
Fitness On Demand (FOD) has teamed up with Les Mills, to offer an omnichannel fitness solution to operators. Fitness on ...
news • 04 Mar 2024
Samsung has unveiled a smart ring, packed with innovative technologies to aid health and wellbeing, which will be available later ...
news • 29 Feb 2024
The ICO has ruled that eight leisure operators have been unlawfully processing the biometric data of their employees to be ...
news • 23 Feb 2024
More consumers are realising meditation is beneficial, but many give up because it’s difficult to master the mind. The Muse ...
news • 21 Feb 2024
Newcomer to the market, Lunar Health Clubs, is gearing up to open its first high-end club this April, in Marlow ...
news • 19 Feb 2024
University of Washington researchers have created a wireless wearable in the form of a thermal earring that continuously monitors a ...
news • 16 Feb 2024
Zumba, and virtual reality workout platform, FitXR, have joined forces to offer mixed-reality versions of Zumba's dance routines. The partnership ...
news • 13 Feb 2024
Triathlon legends, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, have launched a free conversational AI tool to share their vast training knowledge with ...
news • 07 Feb 2024
According to McKinsey’s latest report, The trends defining the US$1.8 trillion global wellness market in 2024, the market for wellness ...
news • 24 Jan 2024
One of the most famous bodybuilders of all time – turned Hollywood actor – turned Californian governor – Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...
news • 23 Jan 2024
Egym has signalled its intention to become a major global player in the health club equipment space, signing up former ...
news • 19 Jan 2024
With pressure on medical services at an all time high, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is calling for ...
news • 17 Jan 2024
Sennheiser has teamed up with Polar Electro for the launch of its Momentum Sport earbuds which deliver Polar’s bio-sensing capabilities ...
news • 09 Jan 2024
The fitness industry is gearing up to engage with the medical profession according to the results of the American College ...
news • 05 Jan 2024
TikTok, has launched into the fitness market with a new hub called #TikTokFitness and a supporting consumer marketing push. The ...
news • 05 Jan 2024
Les Mills has released Les Mills XR Dance for the Meta Quest 3 headset. The release is the company's second ...
news • 20 Dec 2023
Equinox has appointed a Health Advisory Board of medical experts and academics to 'define new frontiers in the science of ...
news • 15 Dec 2023
Horizon Leisure is upgrading and investing in its new shopping-centre health hub – The Wellbeing Hub in Havant, UK – ...
news • 15 Dec 2023
Google has just released Gemini, a new multimodal AI which is being billed as a "ChatGPT Killer". Unlike ChatGPT, it ...
news • 06 Dec 2023
More fit tech news
CoverMe Fitness, an app for seamless, on-demand management and cover solutions for sports and fitness ...
Founded in 2007 in Gersthofen, Germany, miha bodytec is the market-leading supplier of Electro Muscle ...
Flooring
Lockers
Salt therapy products
Digital
Cryotherapy
06-06 Jun 2024
Drayton Manor Theme Park & Resort, Tamworth, United Kingdom
08-10 Oct 2024
Malaga - FYCMA, Malaga, Spain
CoverMe Fitness, an app for seamless, on-demand management and cover solutions for sports and fitness ...
Founded in 2007 in Gersthofen, Germany, miha bodytec is the market-leading supplier of Electro Muscle ...
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free Fit Tech ezine and breaking news alerts
Sign up
Flooring
Lockers
Salt therapy products
Digital
Cryotherapy
06-06 Jun 2024
Drayton Manor Theme Park & Resort, Tamworth, United Kingdom
08-10 Oct 2024
Malaga - FYCMA, Malaga, Spain

features

App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

Sohail Rashid

My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Innovation

Bold move

Our results showed a greater than 60 per cent reduction in falls for individuals who actively participated in Bold’s programme
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

Alexa can help you book classes, check trainers’ bios and schedules, find out opening times, and a host of other information
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
More features
FIT TECH News

Eight leisure operators issued warnings over the use of biometric data

By
Eight leisure operators have been issued with enforcement notices regarding the use of biometric data
The UK's Information Commissioner’s Office says the activity breaches new data protection law. The warning relates to the use of fingerprint and facial recognition technology
The operators have been using biometrics for years to measure attendance. They must now desist and destroy all data
The ICO has singled out Serco Leisure in its press release relating to the ruling. Fit Tech editor, Liz Terry, has challenged this decision to victimise Serco

The ICO has ruled that eight leisure operators have been unlawfully processing the biometric data of their employees to be used for attendance checks and the resulting salary payments.

Enforcement notices have been issued instructing the organisations in question to stop the processing of biometric data for monitoring employees’ attendance at work, as well as to destroy all biometric data that they are not legally obliged to retain within three months.

Enforcement notices have been issued to Serco Leisure, Serco Jersey, Birmingham Community Leisure Trust, Bolton Community Leisure, Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, More Leisure Community Trust, Northern Community Leisure Trust, Maidstone Leisure Trust and Swale Community Leisure.

The ICO argued that the trusts failed to show why it is necessary, or proportionate, to use facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanning when there are less intrusive means available, such as ID cards or fobs.

John Edwards, UK information commissioner at the ICO, said: "Biometric data is wholly unique to a person so the risks of harm in the event of inaccuracies, or a security breach, are much greater. You can't reset someone's face or fingerprint like you can reset a password.

The ICO has singled out Serco Leisure in making its ruling, press-releasing its decision with Serco as the lead subject line and in a statement Edwards continued this targeting of the company, saying: “Serco Leisure did not fully consider the risks before introducing biometric technology to monitor staff attendance, prioritising business interests over its employees’ privacy. There is no clear way for staff to opt out of the system, increasing the power imbalance in the workplace and putting people in a position where they feel like they have to hand over their biometric data to work there.

“This is neither fair nor proportionate under data protection law, and, as the UK regulator, we will closely scrutinise organisations and act decisively if we believe biometric data is being used unlawfully.”

A Serco Leisure spokesperson has defended its decision to implement the technology, pointing out that it has been in use for many years and that the ICO had been aware for some considerable time of the situation, but saying it's taking the matter seriously and will fully comply with the enforcement notice.

“This technology was introduced at the leisure centres we manage nearly five years ago to make clocking-in and out easier and simpler for colleagues," said Serco.

"We engaged with our team members in advance of its roll-out and its introduction was well-received by colleagues. The introduction also followed external legal advice which said use of the technology was permitted.

“Despite being aware of Serco Leisure's use of this technology for some years, the ICO have only this week issued an enforcement notice and requested that we take action. We now understand this coincides with the publication of new guidance for organisations on processing of biometric data which we anticipate will provide greater clarity in this area."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said "We strongly question the ICO's decision to single out Serco Leisure for such high-level publicity in relation to this ruling, given there are eight operators named in this action and all have been equally advised.

"Given the sensitive nature of this matter, it seems extremely unreasonable to do this, most especially as the timing of the ICO's announcement coincides with the a launch of its new guidance note.

"It should not be the position of any Quango to victimise individual organisations and cause them reputational harm in this way."

The ICO is funded through data protection fees and fines.

More fit tech news
Peloton has secured a critical US$1bn five-year loan to shore up its finances. The loan has repayment terms which are ...
news • 24 May 2024
Peloton Interactive Inc is believed to be working to get its costs under control in a bid to align with ...
news • 08 May 2024
HoloBike, a holographic training bike that simulates trail rides in lifelike 3D, is aiming to push indoor cycling technology up ...
news • 08 May 2024
Xplor Technologies has unveiled a financing solution for small businesses, which aims to counter the traditional lending process and help ...
news • 08 May 2024
Moonbird is a tactile breathing coach, which provides real-time biofeedback, measuring heart rate and heart rate variability. Studies show it ...
news • 02 May 2024
Atlanta-based boutique fitness software company, Xplor Mariana Tek, has kicked off a push for international expansion. Shannon Tracey, VP of ...
news • 18 Apr 2024
The JD Gyms Group has completed a deal to acquire Simply Gym from Bay Leisure. The deal comprises four gyms: ...
More HCM news
Portugese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has launched a health and wellness app that harmonises advice on fitness, nutrition and mental wellness ...
news • 05 Apr 2024
Egym, has signalled its intention to become a dominant force in the corporate wellness sector with the acquisition of UK-based ...
news • 27 Mar 2024
Egym, which raised €207 million last year in new investment, continues to build its top team with the appointment of ...
news • 21 Mar 2024
The UK government acknowledged in its recent budget that economic recovery depends on the health of the nation, but failed ...
news • 11 Mar 2024
Technogym is launching Checkup, an assessment station which uses AI to personalise training programmes in order to create more effective ...
news • 06 Mar 2024
Fitness On Demand (FOD) has teamed up with Les Mills, to offer an omnichannel fitness solution to operators. Fitness on ...
news • 04 Mar 2024
Samsung has unveiled a smart ring, packed with innovative technologies to aid health and wellbeing, which will be available later ...
news • 29 Feb 2024
The ICO has ruled that eight leisure operators have been unlawfully processing the biometric data of their employees to be ...
news • 23 Feb 2024
More consumers are realising meditation is beneficial, but many give up because it’s difficult to master the mind. The Muse ...
news • 21 Feb 2024
Newcomer to the market, Lunar Health Clubs, is gearing up to open its first high-end club this April, in Marlow ...
news • 19 Feb 2024
University of Washington researchers have created a wireless wearable in the form of a thermal earring that continuously monitors a ...
news • 16 Feb 2024
Zumba, and virtual reality workout platform, FitXR, have joined forces to offer mixed-reality versions of Zumba's dance routines. The partnership ...
news • 13 Feb 2024
Triathlon legends, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, have launched a free conversational AI tool to share their vast training knowledge with ...
news • 07 Feb 2024
According to McKinsey’s latest report, The trends defining the US$1.8 trillion global wellness market in 2024, the market for wellness ...
news • 24 Jan 2024
One of the most famous bodybuilders of all time – turned Hollywood actor – turned Californian governor – Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...
news • 23 Jan 2024
Egym has signalled its intention to become a major global player in the health club equipment space, signing up former ...
news • 19 Jan 2024
With pressure on medical services at an all time high, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is calling for ...
news • 17 Jan 2024
Sennheiser has teamed up with Polar Electro for the launch of its Momentum Sport earbuds which deliver Polar’s bio-sensing capabilities ...
news • 09 Jan 2024
The fitness industry is gearing up to engage with the medical profession according to the results of the American College ...
news • 05 Jan 2024
TikTok, has launched into the fitness market with a new hub called #TikTokFitness and a supporting consumer marketing push. The ...
news • 05 Jan 2024
Les Mills has released Les Mills XR Dance for the Meta Quest 3 headset. The release is the company's second ...
news • 20 Dec 2023
Equinox has appointed a Health Advisory Board of medical experts and academics to 'define new frontiers in the science of ...
news • 15 Dec 2023
Horizon Leisure is upgrading and investing in its new shopping-centre health hub – The Wellbeing Hub in Havant, UK – ...
news • 15 Dec 2023
Google has just released Gemini, a new multimodal AI which is being billed as a "ChatGPT Killer". Unlike ChatGPT, it ...
news • 06 Dec 2023
More fit tech news