Friday, September 07, 2007

New US legislation halts school fingerprint technology

This from the Chicago Tribune:

Shortly after rolling out a new lunch program that allows pupils to pay for hot meals with a scan of their fingerprint, Wilmette school officials put the system on hold after learning that a new Illinois law limits the use of biometric information to protect children's privacy.

Illinois General Assembly SB1702, specifically dealing with school biometric databases, came into effect on the 1st August this year.

Adam Denenberg, the school district's director of technology and media is quoted in the article saying, "...no fingerprints are stored or could be obtained by police."

However, a child's biometric fingerprint algorithm, stored on a school database, can be accessed by police, as SB1702, section 5(B), on page 4, details:

(5) A prohibition on the sale, lease, or other disclosure of biometric information to another person or entity, unless:

(B) the disclosure is required by court order.

2 comments:

Hugh D'Andrade said...

I just did on Joy Van Gilder's story and linked back to you:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005432.php
Your blog is great, keep up the good work!

H.

Pippa said...

Thanks. The issue is that in the UK is that really no one is really aware this is happening.

Children's parents do not have to be informed when schools take biometric data from pupils for library, lunchs, vending machines, registration, cash transactions, etc

This nearly happened to my children (when aged 6 & 7).

I asked our school when they were going to ask parents permission for taking and storing chidlren's biometrics - they simply stated that they didn't have to ask, or even inform us.

This is true in the UK.

Then, I thought, a change in the law is needed

and some awareness... :)