US health regulators to consider biometric safety in walmart locations

The Food and Drug Administration has said it is considering requiring biometric security devices to be stored in secure, locked containers at all U.S. Walmarts.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday it has received a draft rule on biometric identification systems from the agency.

It is to be finalized by Dec. 31.

Walmart says it is working with the FDA on the rule, which is expected to be issued next month.

Walmarts already require their customers to provide their fingerprints and a photo of their face when entering a secure, separate space, such as a checkout area.

The agency’s rule would add an additional step to that process, requiring Walmart to require all biometric identifiers in the secure area be printed out or scanned at a secure location.

The FDA has said that requiring the security measures would help prevent fraud, identify stolen goods, and increase security and productivity at the store.

Wal-Mart said in a statement Wednesday that it welcomes the proposal and will review it carefully.

WalMart already offers fingerprint scanning for its associates, but it says its new scanners are designed to help improve security at the door.

The U.K.-based supermarket chain has been using biometric scanners in some of its stores since at least 2011, and has installed at least three of them in the last three years.

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