UK-based privacy and civil liberties NGO, Big Brother Watch, commissioned an expert legal opinion on the lawfulness of mandatory thermal screening during the pandemic. It states that thermal surveillance is unlawful when there is no solid evidence base and safeguards in place.
The legal opinion quotes Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine, Carl Henegan and GP, Margaret McCartney. They say that infrared screening for temperature “results in large numbers of false positives, either offering false reassurance or unnecessary alarm – and potential exclusion of the person from work or leisure activities.”
In a statement for Biometric Update, Big Brother Watch warned organisations planning to use thermal surveillance to be “wary of the legal implications of thermal screening, particularly in the data protection context.”