Flat Chat Forum Another day in paradise Current Page

  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by .
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  • #37912

    In the high-rise apartment complex, where I am a long-term owner/occupier in Sydney, building management wishes to install Biometric/ Fingerprint security controls, primarily to help reduce overcrowding.

    Are there privacy/ownership of personal information laws or regulations that prevent fingerprinting being enforced? I have never been fingerprinted in my life and do not wish to have my prints obtained by some private company.

    Also, surely there is an associated biohazard risk? Colds, influenza, hepatitis, skin conditions could surely be passed on from these readers if they are not constantly maintained? Especially, as to access the apartments a resident would have to provide fingerprints 3 times (Front door, lobby and inside elevator)? I press the elevator buttons with my keys as I worry about this.

    Should building management, at the very least provide disinfectant wipes, at each reader?

    Also, is building management be required to provide alternative access in case of malfunction, refusal to be fingerprinted, access for tradesman etc?

    I would like to hear the thoughts and opinions of the forum on this matter

    Thank you

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  • #37938

    Thank you for your thoughts and replies.

    Building management recently introduced a new security fob system that is apparently unable to be cloned. It has worked well as I have not witnessed a copy in use, however, the cunning residents in question ( AirBnB, overcrowded units etc) merely leave the a fob in their letter box to be used at will and left when there when the unit is unoccupied.

    Another initiative has been to prevent access between levels via the fire stairs. This has worked well and stopped a lot of tailgating in lifts.

    Fingerprint access is overkill to the overcrowding and AirBnB issues. I am sure those who persist will manage to lift and create a copy of their fingerprint rendering the system redundant anyhow.

    Yes, an injured or plastered finger will create dramas too. Plus, if I have an overnight or short-term guest they could not leave and come back without my presence. If sick or bedridden, a healthcare worker would not be able to attend either.

    I am certain a lawyer has not drawn up any amendments to the by-laws.

    Woe is me !



    Hi, In my experience, have lived in a large complex, with electronic entry device supplied to each owner. Visitors had to be alerted in advance of course, so someone could welcome accordingly.   However, it certainly was critical for security.  As Lady P and Sir H point out, a bit of a nuisance too.  But everyone was used to it for reasons stated.   Agree the method Waterworld describes a no-no in terms of privacy of personal details.   In our case, when a device became faulty, it had to be reported to strata and wait for another to be supplied.  Fortunately, we had good neighbours to provide entry if this happened.   Electronic form of entry, or with a swipe card,  is not uncommon; in inner Sydney anyway. Good luck with your privacy argument.






    Lady Penelope

    You are right to be concerned, however there are stronger arguments  against it than the ‘cleanliness’ argument.

    I am not a fan of this type of security in strata either. “Cracking a nut with a sledge hammer” is never really necessary.

    Has there been an issue with overcrowding in your building? And if so what measures have been tried so far to solve this issue?

    Unlike in other countries Australian legislation has not yet caught up with the storage and use of this type of personal information. Until the legislation has caught up with this type of security I personally would not want it used in my building.

    I have a feeling that some people in your building may be using the ‘overcrowding’ argument as an excuse to stop AirBnb and hence the fingerprint security.

    There are many benign situations where an Owner may need someone to access their apartment when they are not a home e.g. having a relative or friend water the pot plants. Unless that person has their finger prints in the system then they won’t be able to get into your building.

    I would hope that before this new security measure is put in place that a By-law will be drafted by a lawyer that satisfactorily covers all of the issues of concern e.g. how to protect the personal information they hold from misuse, interference, loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure etc. and that Owners will be given the opportunity to approve it (or not) as per the legislation.

    By-laws need a Special Resolution.

    Entering your building should not be akin to entering or exiting jail, or crossing an international border. I also dislike the proliferation of CCTV cameras in strata buildings.

    Incidentally, the footage from CCTV cameras is available to be accessed by the strata owners as it is deemed to form part of the records of the building.  Will this be the same for finger prints?

    Note the quote from the following interesting article:

    the controller should balance the possible advantages and disadvantages for the data subject’s private life on the one hand and the envisaged purposes on the other hand, and consider possible alternatives that are less intrusive for private life.


    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by .
    Sir Humphrey

    Aside from hygiene and data security and reasonable casual access for friends watering the pot plants or even being offered a bed for a few nights, what happens if you injure your finger and return home with it in a bandage? What happens if the power goes out? There is a lot to be said for old fashioned keys!

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Flat Chat Forum Another day in paradise Current Page