Monday, November 12, 2007

Australia start 'fingerprinting' students

As controversial biometric systems are being used in the UK and fingerprint scanners being put on hold in Orlando, scrapped in Massachusetts, Australia decides to implement fingerprint readers in their schools for registration, movement around school, canteen and library - all in one go.

However the Biometrics Institute in Australia have a voluntary Privacy Code, approved by the Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis, which applies to organisations that have agreed to be covered by the Code. The code came into effect September 2006. I wonder if schools and the vendors of such systems designed to be used in schools have signed up for the voluntary Privacy Code.

The Education Department has given Sydney Schools the all-clear to fingerprint their students.

The controversial move is voluntary, but only three parents have declined to allow their children to take part in a trial of the system at Rooty Hill High in Sydney's west.

School principal Christine Cawsey has told the Nine Network the system will be used to track children when they arrive at school, and as they visit the canteen, library and selected classrooms.

When they put their finger on the scanner, they will get a good morning greeting on the screen [arwh] and then they go to class.”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of students, each individually touching the same scanner, then they are expected to eat a meal.
Such an easy way to spread parasites and flu, Isn't it?
But never mind the health risks, lets not worry about that. Never mind the privacy risks or the possible risk of identity theft. Lets not worry about the daily indoctrination of handing
over personal and private information without question. Hey after all, the computer can greet the kids.

Awrr how soft, cuddly and caring it all is.

Jessie said...

Lol @ anonymous. Good points, really. Maybe they need to put a hand sanitiser dispenser next to each machine.

It sounds like a really cool, technological concept. I mean, there's pros and cons to everything and not everyone is going to agree with everything.

But I mean with the privacy thing, teachers at my school generally know where the students are anyway, since we get put on the computer system whereever we go e.g. counsellor, nurse, music lesson. I guess this kind of thing would speed up the process...

Since it's happening in Australia, it's probably going to reach New Zealand in a few years. I'll probably be out of school by that time. But it sounds like a pretty interesting idea.

People will most likely reject it at first but it will probably be commonplace in most schools in a decade or so.

Jenna said...

This is terrible. The amount of control the governments in the 'Free' World are enforcing on the unwitting public is attrocious.
Forced fingerprinting with travel visas or now passports in general. Internet Censorship.

We are living in the beginnings of an Orwellian World.
We must stand up and fight the system now!