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Apple Store, does measuring customer temperatures violate privacy?

By Giacomo Martiradonna Wednesday 13 May 2020

Apple wanted to implement an automatic temperature verification system for Apple Store customers, but EU privacy law could make the practice illegal.

Apple Store Temperature Measurement

In an attempt to contain the spread of Coronavirus and make its stores safer, Cupertino is thinking of implementing some thermal scanners at Apple Store entrances so as to measure the temperature of customers before they can enter. EU privacy law, however, could make it illegal.

These days, and after developing appropriate hygiene and social distancing strategies, Apple is reopening some of its sales points around the world. Among the initiatives adopted there would be an automatic goods delivery system (to limit the movements of workers), as well as measuring body temperature through remote thermal scanners; however, the Hessian Court in Germany believes that this choice conflict with EU provisions regarding privacy.

For the moment, therefore, Tim Cook and his team have put on standby the thermometers affair in the Old Continent, waiting to understand if it is feasible or not. In Italy – as in Germany and in other EU countries – the Apple Stores still operate with reduced hours, and are formally closed for the public. But it is clear that it is time to start thinking about the after; when, that is, the shutters will rise again.