SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — Some types of thermal imaging cameras with facial recognition functions turned out to be collecting what some deem as excessive personal information automatically in the process of checking body temperatures.
The Personal Information Protection Commission is set to launch an investigation over the functions of the face recognition thermal imaging cameras that are distributed in the domestic market this week, while looking into whether they collect too much personal information.
The newly launched minister-level government body is tasked with formulating and supervising policies aimed at protecting personal information.
This investigation comes as several types of facial recognition thermal imaging cameras have been identified as having automatically saved and managed information that can identify specific individuals, while some have also been identified as having data transmission functions.
Unlike general thermal imaging cameras that simply check whether individuals have a fever or not by measuring body temperature, facial recognition thermal imaging cameras collect biometric information for each individual.
In particular, in cases where such cameras are used for gate management at specific facilities, they can save and manage not only information on body temperature, but also facial identification data and an individual’s entry and exit history.
Using such information together with the personal data included in an identification card for entry, it’s easy to identify specific individuals.
The commission explained that these cameras not only check for fever as a safeguard against COVID-19, but also collect and use personal information without consent.
Using personal information for additional purposes beyond that initially disclosed to the individuals concerned or providing such information to third parties without consent of the individuals concerned is a crime that could result in an imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to 50 million won (US$44,255).
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)