"Figures come from Biostore, the main supplier of identity management systems to secondary schools. Its client base includes over 1000 secondary schools, and it estimates that well over 1 million students use its finger based biometrics daily. Biostore’s work with schools shows that 2 users per 1000 decline to use biometrics. A 99.8% uptake of a voluntary process reflects the views of most of the public on this subject"
Both articles quote the above which is by the company Biostore who sell school biometric management systems. They understandably have a commercial interest to state that biometrics have a high take up in schools. It is taken from their written submission to the Freedom Bill.
- Did parents specifically sign for consent?
- Was it a parental opt out scenario, 'implied consent'?
- Did the parents even know that their children were using their biometrics?
- Is the 99.8% figure an indication of the uptake of children in a compliant school environment or an indication from fully informed parents and specifically gaining written consent?
Without knowing the answers to these questions the above statement is ambiguous and figures quoted should be questioned. For Biostore to then assume that the 99.8% uptake in schools reflects the general populations view on this is, in my opinion, rather hopeful.
I can only speak from experience, where in my sons primary school when parents were specifically asked by letter to sign to consent to the school using biometrics, approximately 20% of parents did not consent for their childrens biometrics to be processed. The school biometric system is now not in use.
Interestingly there are 3722 secondary schools in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) with 3,560,384 pupils. If Biostore's "client base includes over 1000 secondary schools, and it estimates that well over 1 million students use its finger based biometrics daily" taking the figures literally at 1000 schools that means Biostore, at the very least, has 28% of the total schools biometric market.
Both articles quote that there is evidence that "30% of secondary schools have biometric systems".
Are we then to believe that one company, Biostore, has 93% of the high school market share...?