Germany: The surveillance system works feverishly

Imagine that you want to go shopping and are referred to the store entrance because you may be infected with the corona virus. The reason for the assumption: A thermal imaging camera that measures the body temperature of all entering customers wants to have determined that you are feverish and therefore pose a danger.


This is exactly how a branch from the supermarket chain EDEKA in Saarbrücken, Germany, is said to have operated until yesterday – before the Saarland State Commissioner for Data Protection, Monika Grethel, has initiated an administrative procedure.

The Luxembourg online portal “L’Essentiel”  first reported about it.


Camera measures body temperature

“Lonsdorfer” has therefore installed a thermal imager at the entrance to the branch  which scans the body temperatures of customers in real time. If it is too high, an employee speaks to the passers-by. If there is no explanation for the increased temperature, the customer must leave the shop.


Does camera contradict GDPR?

The system contradicts the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), says Marco Schömer, who works for the Saarland data protection authority, about “L’essentiel”.

The right to informational self-determination of the customers is violated. You could complain because the camera is against personal rights, Schömer continues.


Security company defends camera

According to the media report, “Lonsdorfer” has not yet commented on the allegation. The Saarbrücken company that installed the security system defends it. Customers and employees would feel more secure. On the other hand, the procedure had been agreed with a lawyer: the thermal imager complies with the GDPR because it does not store the data, according to the managing director of  Company “MATEC Sicherheitssysteme”.

Schömer replies in “L’essentiel”: “When someone – sick or in good health – is questioned by the eyes of other customers, there is clearly a risk of stigmatization.”

According to information … the supermarket suspended the camera again until further notice on Wednesday afternoon. However, it should not have been the only one who uses or plans to use such a camera from the Saarbrücken company ” Matec Sicherheitssysteme “– the company is even said to be on 100 other orders from Saarland are working.,463156/Saarbruecken-Edeka-Lonsdorfer-screent-Koerpertemperatur-von-Kunden-mit-Waermebildkamera,463166

And I mean…One wonders whether the government has the new version of the Covid-20 ready. The old version will soon no longer work and the carefully prepared surveillance system is on the ass!

My best  regards to all, Venus


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