Sunday, December 03, 2006

No one admits to fully knowing how many children use their biometrics in schools and for what purposes they use them. Unfortunately therefore, analysis can’t be done to see if children really do read more books, bullying is stamped out at dinner queues and whether installing that £1000’s worth of biometric registration system actually does reduce truancy.

Claims by biometric suppliers to schools are that using biometrics gives:

“More time devoted to teaching - every day and for every student!” and...

“It will help to prevent bullying, by ensuring that students no longer need to carry cash to school” (What message is this sending to children? That carrying cash makes you a victim? Shouldn't the younger generation be taught how to manage money and that our society doesn't tolerate bullies?)

However I suspect that the government new guidelines on detailing pupil absence that came into force this September, school catering revenues/profits down, childhood obesity rising and that literacy rates could be improved could be some of the real reasons to monitor our children with the ease of biometric technology.

Business and government may attempt to sell us on biometric convenience but the use of these technologies are increasingly falling within schools, to one of surveillance and control rather than the initial reason they were invented – for security.

Unless the Government makes an effort to monitor this technology in schools, to see whether having it is necessary over normal electronic systems, a whole generation of children will have a open mindset to blindly giving up their biometric data in exchange for learning resources and food.

What exactly are the next generation learning from this?


Thumbs said...

Am I an overprotective, paranoid mother or a concerned parent who doesn't want her children to live in "1984" ?

What a VERY silly question! Paranoid...yes...and misguided if you think a thumb print is the equivalent of living in 1984. There are a number of rather more important and interesting thngs that you might want to address than thumb technology.

Pippa King said...

Funny, I haven't posted anything referencing thumb technology (other than the pictoral advice given by Dudley Metroplitan Council, posted 25th Nov).

Interestingly the leading supplier of biometric library systems in the UK has 'thumb' print scanners... anyway...

Yes, THUMBS, there are more interesting 'thngs' to address - hence the blog (duh!)

Thumbs said...

I''d've thought that it would have been impossible to discuss biometric registration etc without reference to thumbprint technology...but there you go.

And I stand by my appear to be ultra-twitchy - gawd 'elp the little children.

Pippa King said...

With regards to the thumb technology I think it probably falls into the wider debate, thumb or finger, is doesn't really matter the end result is the same.

Ultra twichy's good! Blindly following without asking questions is not always the right thing to do.