In May 2012, after 7 years of campaigning by parents and privacy groups, the Protection of Freedoms Act was passed. In it Chapter 2 Protection of biometric information of children in schools etc. deals with schools processing children's biometric data:
26. Requirement to notify and obtain consent before processing biometric information
27. Exceptions and further provision about consent and notification
The salient points of the Act are:
- Each parent of the child should be notified by the relevant authority that they are planning to process their child's biometrics and notified that they are able to object.
- In order for a school to process children's biometrics at least one parent must consent and no parent has withdrawn consent. This needs to be in writing.
The child can object to the processing of their biometrics regardless of parents consent.
Up to May 2012 the below UK laws helped clarify which area of law the taking and processing of children's biometric data, without parental consent, fell under these Acts of Parliament:
Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act, Education Act, Freedom of Information Act, Children Act, Gillick Competence
USAIn the United States there have been laws passed either prohibiting or regulating schools processing children's biometrics.
Florida SB188, April 2014 - Banning the use of biometics in schools. Schools "may not:(a) Collect, obtain, or retain information on the...biometric information of a student"
Listen to some audio from the State Senate committee hearings describing why legislators felt the need to ban the identification technologies instead of providing an opt-out provision.
Maryland - SB855, Feb 2013, Public Schools – Collection of Biometric Information from Students Prohibited - Halted in the House Ways and Means Committee, May 2013.
Arizona SB1216 - July 2008, Consent using biometric technology in schools
Illinios SB1702 - 2007, Consent using biometric technology in schools
Illinios HB1559 - School Code amended. Re: biometric consent
Illinois SB2549 - 2005/2006, Consent using biometric technology in schools
Iowa HF685 bill as it used to, see ACLU report here (original link broken but can be found here with more information here) included in Iowa Code 726
Michigan Opinion No. 7069