Thursday, November 16, 2006

Electronic ID with option for fingerprinting in Czech Schools

This from the Prague Post in Czechoslovakia, the Konečná Street Elementary School is just about to launch a scheme that involves electronic identification cards for registration purposes otherwise known as “Presence” by the CCA Group.

Bohumír Sobota, Deputy Director of the school in Karlovy Vary, …is getting resistance from members of his own staff.

"While 50 percent of school employees welcome the idea, the other 50 percent are keeping their distance," he said. "We are going to test the system for six months, during which time teachers will get to know it better — even if we might have to push some of them a little bit."

The notion for Presence came when CCA began to sell student chip cards to schools for opening doors or use in dining rooms. Several school administrators proposed integrating an attendance component into the cards. CCA ran with the idea, also introducing the option of fingerprinting.

Systems similar to Presence were the main surprise in this year's nominations for Prague's Big Brother Awards, said Filip Pospíšil of Iuridicum Remedium, the civic rights group that gives out the awards.

"There is a real reason to be concerned," he said. "They educate students that their privacy is not important, that their privacy is something that can be taken from them."

Yet again privacy issues are raised with children unassumingly at the centre of this – AKA the data subjects. I wonder how long it will take before Czechoslovakia desensitises to electronic ID and moves onto biometrics for registration and the myriads of other uses it can be put to in schools. The lack of listening to teachers concerns then "pushing" them to accept systems they are not happy with and the absense of informing parents sounds disapointingly familiar.

Parents were not notified about the impending system, Sobota said - I wonder why, given the teachers concerns...

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