Apple is currently undergoing the slow and steady process of reopening its retail stores across the globe, even as the global health crisis continues.
For its part, Apple is taking a measured approach. The company is looking at each region’s current statistics as they relate to the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. With that information in hand it is deciding which stores it feels is appropriate to reopen. That includes in South Korea, stores in China, and Australia and Austria.
But Apple’s plans in Germany are facing some pushback. Apple’s procedures for reopening its stores include a variety of additional steps and precautions, including temperature checks at the entrances. It’s this element that a regulator in Germany is taking umbrage with, according to Bloomberg Law. The Hessian Data Protection Agency is the one launching a probe into Apple.
The Hessian data protection agency’s investigation comes after Apple reopened stores across Germany May 11 with extra safety procedures, including temperature checks and social distancing.
The office wants to know if the temperature checks violate the applicable data protection rules, Ulrike Muller, a spokesperson for the Hessian Data Protection Commissioner, said. There are no results yet from the probe and the office is coordinating with other German data protection authorities, Muller said
Health officials believe that temperature checks at store entrances are crucial for combating the spread of the coronavirus, and, therefore, giving retail stores the opportunity to reopen. Apple has implemented this step in its own reopening plans, while also limiting the number of customers in a store at a given time, requiring social distancing requirements are met while inside, and limiting operating hours.
Temperature checks are an essential step, and hopefully this does not limit Apple’s ability to do just that.