Sunday, January 21, 2007

Information Commissioner has doubts

Been a little busy this week - these few items explain.

On the subject of biometrics in schools the Information Commisioners Office (ICO) seems to have doubts:

"For us to come out now and say fingerprinting isn't allowed would be very difficult because these systems have come in over the last four years. We were asked about them and we said it was okay." David Smith, deputy information commissioner.

We all have jobs where at times it can be “very difficult” to admit advice given has been wrong but if it is your job, and you’re getting paid good money for it, you have to get one with it. Let's hope that the ICO don't cover their backs with flimsy guidelines that they are consulting the DfES on.

Also fingerprinting children without parental consent would bring the issue of whether the child is Gillick Competent.

Connexions advice: Decisions on a young person’s ability to give consent will be based on the "Gillick Competence" test.

The phrase “Gillick competence”derives from the House of Lordscase of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority(1986 AC 112), in which it was determined that a child under theage of 16 years could give consent for medical treatment provided they had the cognitive and emotional maturity to understand the implications of the decision being taken.

This test is now applied wherever an agency wishes to determine whether the consent or direction of a minor is valid.

1 comment:

Terri said...

It should be remembered, though, that an important element in assessing the competence of an U16 to give consent is the question of whether s/he refuses parental involvement.

Unless the young person actively chooses not to consult parents, the ordinary common-law position of parental responsibility for U-16s applies - and that was, of course, why the Gillick case had to happen