Signing in to work by digital fingerprinting. Good or Bad?

The end of the semester is drawing near and like a narrow tunnel many tasks are piling on. There are final tests to be made and scores of report cards to fill out. In the midst of this we were pulled away from our desks to register our fingers.

The school installed a new system of checking in it's employers. Before, we would just sign our names in a little book, and be on our way. We didn't do much to check out, except change our shoes and give a friendly wave goodbye.

Without any notice we were made to register our fingerprints and start using this system. When I was pulled away from my desk to register and was told, "We are registering our fingers." I didn't blink nor think twice about this. As we walked down the stairs and I saw a man standing next to a gadget on the wall that looked like something out of a spy movie, I got excited instead of worried. I watched as my colleagues went first, registering two fingers (of their choice) and seeing the little blue light blink in and out. Finally, it was my turn and I watched as it scanned in my fingers and took a black and white image of this physical identification.

All felt good and I went back to work. A little later, as I went to get my payslip from our Coordinator, I learned that this new signing in-thing isn't favored by everyone. Soon enough I heard chatter about how this is invasive to our rights and concern over whether this would be grounds to fire us at the end of our term.

I understand the concern towards the officials using our time stamping as a way to discuss whether they should renew our contract or not, but what I didn't understand was the displeasure in this being sprung on us the last minute and that there was no information given. I have gotten use to the Korean work environment where if something changes or new comes along you can't expect a month's advance of preparation or notice. Another thing I don't understand is how this could end up being invasive to our rights. They are just using our fingerprints to make us sign in and out. Are they going to be sent to authorities? If so then I understand the need for clarification.

In the end I don't see this as a bad thing, except if they use our time stamps to penalize us at the end of our contract and don't give us notice. But it states in the contract to be on time and not leave early (unless permitted). Also, I feel we can work out a system where if we are dramatically late on occasion it can be documented by the right people, so that at the end of the year can be explained for clarification.

However, I find myself in a small boat of people who are okay with this new system. A large majority of the foreign staff are upset. Yet I understand their point-of-view, and I think they are okay with the concept just want more information before signing up.

Generally, is digital fingerprinting a good way to keep track of your time schedule? Is it especially dangerous for the Korean workplace, where little time differences here and there can be made into big ordeals?

Do you have one of these things in your workplace? And how would you describe it's influence.


Re: Signing in to work by digital fingerprinting. Good or Bad?

This form of timecard is becoming extremely common.  The basic reason behind this is to prevent someone from stamping your time care for you.  If you are honest, you have nothing to worry about.  Don't cut corners, show up on time, leave when you're supposed to, and you'll have no problems... just like every other hourly job you've ever had in your life.  I had been using this same system for almost 3 years in the US before moving to Korea.