In a major policy announcement today, the UK government announced it would introduce biometric access for all employees and contractors at the country’s biometric fitness and safety centres.
It is a move that many argue will improve the safety of the nation’s fitness facilities, and help to address the issue of “bad apples”.
But many have criticised the move, and the move is set to come under intense scrutiny from the public.
The UK Government has also announced that it will introduce a biometric authentication system to its biometric gym employees.
However, there are concerns over the security of the biometric system, and privacy issues, as well as the potential for misuse.
Some critics have called the move an “absurd step backwards” in its fight against terrorism, and have claimed that it is likely to create a “bully-boy” culture amongst the gym staff.
According to the BBC, a petition signed by almost 300 people has now been sent to the Home Office to highlight the concerns, as the government hopes to have the system in place by April.
One concern raised by the petitioners is that it could potentially compromise the security and privacy of biometric data by allowing employees to use the data to log in and out of the gym and access other users, such as customers.
But a Home Office spokesperson said that the security aspects of the system are not intended to be used to log on to and log out of gyms.
“We believe that the current biometric password-protected system is the best option to provide the most secure access for those in the gym,” the spokesperson said.
As well as this, the spokesperson explained that biometric badges have already been approved by the Home Secretary, and that the system will only be available for employees who are physically present in the facility, which is what is most likely to be the case.
It is unclear if the government is actually planning to implement the new system, as it has not yet released any specific plans for the rollout.
Currently, biometric-enabled badges are being installed at UK gyms, including at the Royal London Fitness Centre and the National Health and Medical Research Council Biometric Fitness Centre.
In January, the government announced plans to introduce a “national biometric identity card”, which will be used for identification and verification purposes.
This card will be linked to a personal digital assistant (PDA) to provide access to biometric information, and will be able to store up to 50 fingerprints for use at a time.
However, the PDA is not expected to be able yet to provide secure access to the biometrically encoded biometric details on the card.
More: Is the Government really serious about biometric IDs?