Thermal scanners are now in operation at Palm Beach County governments buildings, as part of an effort to scan visitors and employees for fevers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At least 10 of the devices have already been set up in buildings including the courthouse, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office headquarters and the staff entrance of the county jail, according to the Sheriff’s Office and the scanner’s distributor.
“It is monitoring external temperature only,” says Ryan Barnett, owner of Vetted Security Solutions, who sold the scanners to the county.
Visitors with a temperature above 100 will not be allowed to enter the buildings. Alarms sound on the scanners when they detect a person with a high external body temperature.
According to Barnett, “[They’re useful] anywhere where you ave a high flow of people and need to scan a large number of people.”
Some people have expressed privacy concerns, saying that the temperature scanners could collect personal data.
However, Barnett says the systems do not store temperature or video data, and temperatures cannot be accessed in the system after someone passes by the scanner.
“None of the law enforcement agencies are storing any of this data,” he adds. “It’s never touching a law enforcement network.”