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7/31/2003
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Florida County Taps Biometrics For HR File Access

A Florida county is using fingerprint biometrics to control access to SAP human-resources apps.

Managers in the human-resources department of Brevard County, Fla., now have security at their fingertips when it comes to complying with the privacy regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Brevard County's HR organization recently became one the first HR departments in the U.S. to deploy fingerprint biometric-security technology to prevent unauthorized access to employees' electronic health records. It's part of the county's effort to comply with HIPAA, a federal rule that includes rules governing sharing of health information.

Brevard County recently installed realtime North America Inc.'s bioLock, software that relies on fingerprints to control access to SAP applications. Brevard County is among the first realtime customers in North America to deply bioLock, says realtime North America chief operating officer Thomas Neudenberger. He says BMW has deployed a pilot project at one of its South Carolina facilities. Brevard County also will use it for better limit access and control of purchasing functions, he says.

Pete Gunn, a member of Florida's Homeland Security Council and director of safety and security at the Florida Space Authority, first brought bioLock to the attention of Brevard County officials. "When I saw this technology, I thought, 'gee we could really use this here in the state'," Gunn says. He's hoping the use of the technology in Brevard County "will light a fire to have this technology permeate through the state" to increase security.

BioLock starts at about $100,000 to support 50 users. Realtime North America's parent company, Realtime AG, is a German-based company that provides SAP-related tools, and which was founded by two ex-SAP managers in 1986.

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