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New DPA position: Body temperature measurement is permitted

New DPA position: Body temperature measurement is...

Body temperature measurement is possible according to the DPA

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Bálint Tóásó

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KPMG Legal Tóásó Ügyvédi Iroda

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On 14 October 2020 the Hungarian DPA released a new position on the data processing related to the measurement of body temperature. In its previous view published in March, the DPA stated that any mandatory screening test including body temperature measurement is not proportional in view of the Hungarian pandemic situation. However, in light of the risen case number, the DPA has reviewed its earlier position and concluded that:

The application of diagnostic screening equipment related to body temperature measurements can be identified as being in line with principles, if all of the following conditions are met:

  • during the entry into areas, buildings owned or used by the data controller;
  • it is applied in a uniform manner as a protective measure to everyone who wishes to enter;
  • it is not connected to the identification of the subject of body temperature measurement explicitly for the purpose of the data processing, and
  • it cannot involve the recording, storing or transferring of the personal data.

Requirements for measuring the body temperature

The permission or refusal of entry is only possible if it is based on previously determined objective criteria, so - before commencing the measurement process – we suggest establishing these criteria (such as the permitted temperature limits) and in line with the principle of accountability, provide prior information to the data subjects about such criteria.

If the entry is refused, it is the data subject’s responsibility to handle its health situation further (such as to obtain a medical opinion, inform the employer, etc.), so beside the refusal, the data controller cannot take any more steps. For the purpose of measurement, the data subject cannot be identified, about the permitted and/or refused persons only statistical data can be collected at most (e.g. how many people could not enter).

If someone’s body temperature is normally higher than the standard, because of a condition or medication, the DPA suggests for data controllers to ask from the data subjects to present a document that is issued by a doctor which states that the data subject can be in community against its body temperature.

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