Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scottish Council halts fingerprinting in schools

Whilst Dundee City Council (Scotland) have given assurance that the controversial fingerprinting of children is no longer being carried out in schools under their jurisdiction, neighbouring Stirling Council quotes "The Scottish Executive are committed to introducing cashless catering systems in all schools by 2007"

The Green Party in Scotland believe children should be taught the importance of civil liberties and have led a campaign in the Scottish Parliament on the use of biometric data with children.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow says "children should be taught in an environment which respects their autonomy and privacy and, indeed, encourages them to hold their civil liberties in high regard".

It is clear that biometrics for children our schools are causing very differing views on whether it should be implemented. If this technology is needed in schools, clear guidelines are needed. In the meantime, without regulation, it is an open door to biometric companies in our educational “market”, especially with the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme getting into full swing over the next few years.

Our UK Data Protection Acts states:

The Data Protection Priciples, Part I, The Principles
3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.

Children who’s biometric information is held on school databases is often held alongside their photograph, address, gender and ethnicity, to log meals eaten, books read, time in and out of classes – is this excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed” ? – I would suggest so.

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