My two children would have had their biometric information taken off them without my consent had I not have spotted the fingerprint scanner in the library. I have to add that the school they are at were not aware of how taking this information off pupils could possibly have contravened several laws. Having said that there has yet to be a case testing the law from a parent whose child has been fingerprinted without consent - however this may soon change.
There are many issues that arise around biometrics in schools:
- Children civil liberties - is it okay to give the message to children that biometrics is part of daily life to access books, learning resources, food and areas of establishments?
- These systems can general reports by age, gender & ethnicity - who read these reports?
- The security of the computers biometric details are stored on.
- Who has access to their biometric information?
- The thousands of pounds spent on these systems, I feel, could be better spent elsewhere in education.
The Children's Act, Human Rights Act, Education Act, the Convention on the Rights of the child and Data protection Act could all be brought into play in this matter - however I am no lawyer so as and when a parent/s challenge this it will be ground breaking stuff as these Acts will be challenged in an area yet to be explored in law.
http://www.leavethemkidsalone.com is great for more information and links and the ARCH website http://www.arch-ed.org/ is where I first learnt about biometrics in schools. The Arch website has a lot more information with regards to children's rights... a lot going on with our children really, that we parents need to be aware of!