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September 29, 2020

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September 28, 2020

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Privacy Tip #216 – Another Caution about Biometric Data

Biometric information is unique to each of us, including our fingerprints, voice, face, iris, and DNA. We can’t replace our biometric data like we can a credit card. If it is compromised, it is compromised forever. It is uber sensitive.

Yet, many people give it away without a second thought. Luckily, there are privacy advocates who are watching out to protect us. Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which I am a huge fan of, requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate HireVue Inc. because it allegedly uses facial recognition technology, biometric data and “secret” algorithms to determine the “employability” of candidates.

According to EPIC, “Because these algorithms are secret—even to HireVue itself, in some cases—it is impossible for job candidates to know how their personal data is being used or to consent to such uses…HireVue’s intrusive collection and secret analysis of biometric data thus causes substantial privacy harms to job candidates.”

EPIC is requesting that the FTC stop HireVue’s scoring of job applicants and change the company’s business practices. It also is requesting that HireVue make its algorithm public for evaluation.

Think twice before allowing recruiting or other services to collect and use your biometric information.

Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 318


About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...