Data Privacy and Data Protection Department report | COVID-19 Guide on body temperature taking by the Access to Public Information Agency
Dear Sir or Madam,
The Agency for Access to Public Information, the enforcement authority of Personal Data Protection Law No. 25,326 (the “PDPL”), issued a guide that contains guidelines and principles for the processing of personal data related to the taking of body temperature at facilities’ entrance and on public roads in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic (the “Guide”).
Among the most relevant aspects of the Guide, it clarifies that (i) body temperature is sensitive personal data that deserve enhanced protection, (ii) taking body temperature by any means (thermometers, cameras, among others) in all its instances imply a data processing activity under the PDPL, (iii) the Guide is applicable regardless of whether the person in charge keeps a record of the people whose temperature was taken or if it requires that the people identify themselves.
The Guide indicates that employers, either in the public or private sector, are authorized to take the body temperature of their employees upon entry to the facilities and if they detect that the body temperature exceeds the threshold defined by the health authorities, the employer may deny the entrance in order to ensure the safety of employees in general.
Likewise, regardless of whether the person responsible is a public or private entity, when decisions are made based solely on automated data processing -for example, through the use of thermal cameras or other automated data processing tools-, individuals will have the right to request an explanation from the data controller about the logic applied in that decision. In this regard, the Guide recommends data controllers to carry out an impact assessment prior to the implementation of these kinds of tools.
Finally, the Guide indicates the information that must be provided through posters within the facilities, both for those responsible who record or not the data on body temperature taking.
Please, do not hesitate to contact us should you require any additional information on this matter.
Emilio Beccar Varela