Apple Store's Temperature Checks May Violate EU Privacy Rules, Says German Data Protection Office

Apple has started reopening its retail stores worldwide, and is taking multiple measures to make sure customers and staff continue to stay safe during the global health crisis. One of these measures includes temperature checks for customers before they're allowed to enter one of Apple's stores using a non-contact forehead thermometer.

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A data protection agency in the German state of Hesse is concerned that Apple's temperature checks on customers violate European Union privacy rules and has launched a probe, according to Bloomberg Law.

The Hessian data protection agency is working with other German data protection authorities, according to a spokesperson for the Hessian Data Protection Commissioner. There are no results yet from the probe, which is aiming to determine if temperature checks infringe on data protection rules.

Apple began reopening its retail stores in Germany on May 11 with a focus on Genius Bar service and support. Apple is requiring temperature checks, and limiting the number of customers who can be in the store at once to ensure appropriate social distancing.

The 15 stores in Germany are also operating on reduced hours for the time being, with Apple implementing additional measures like ensuring employee/customer interactions take place across tables and adding a relay system to deliver products to prevent employees from moving about the store.

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Top Rated Comments

meaning-matters Avatar
55 months ago
Apple Store is private space.
Should be able to ask temperature, like clubs ask ID?
Thermometers don't store data.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
5105973 Avatar
55 months ago
So...are they using rectal thermometers for this? ?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
55 months ago
I am from Europe and I say...Stupidity.
There's no data collection here, the guy/girl reads your temp, result being allowed/disallowed, that's it.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
casperes1996 Avatar
55 months ago

Sorry to poo poo this. If you are asymptomatic you won’t have a bloody temperature! So how the hell does this become ok.?!

What’s even the point in doing this?

A you may not even get a fever
B you may already have it but show no symptoms yet
Because even if it just catches 5% of cases that's 5% more than doing nothing - Would assume that's the logic.
And frankly, it's non-identifiable, presumably non-stored information, and information that isn't even persistent at that.
My temperature changes all the bloody time. If I sit in the sun it's different to if I sit in a freezer; the information isn't stored alongside a personal identification system, and it's not global monitoring of how your personal temperature changes throughout a day. It's not even an invasive check as it's a no-contact temperature measurement. What's the harm here? What privacy violation is being performed? Is it privacy violation to measure how fast your car is going when you're driving?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
harrisondavies Avatar
55 months ago
FFS. Really?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0924487 Avatar
55 months ago
Then change that rule. Some times Laws are not applicable, and we need to rapidly update them.

In Canada, people used to get arrested for having illuminated blinking rear bike lamps. Years later, the Ontario Highway Act was amended.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)