The use of facial recognition and other biometric technologies by businesses, retailers, and landlords continues to grow and has found a new application in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proper implementation and management of these technologies can help increase security and limit physical contact. Real estate management firms and various businesses may be able to use these applications to prevent unauthorized building access, among other use cases. Certain touchless biometric applications also have the potential to identify individuals who may have COVID-19 through characteristics like their body temperature, which, in turn, could facilitate reopening businesses that can properly screen for and mitigate risks of COVID-19 exposure. However, businesses must consider consumer and employee privacy with the increased usage of contactless biometric technologies to address COVID-19-related challenges. Biometric privacy laws could increase tensions between privacy concerns stemming from the collection and sharing of biometric data, and growing interest in using biometric technologies for public safety to combat COVID-19. Businesses considering the use of biometrics will have a growing patchwork of state and federal laws to consider and with which to comply.

 Read more about biometric data and facial recognition in the real estate industry in our recent client alert