Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Prime Minister's Office has responded to Tom Watson's petition

We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the DFES provide guidelines for the use of biometric technologies in schools."

The Government's response:
The Department for Education and Skills does provide guidance for schools and local authorities on data protection and the security of personal data which would include Biometric data.

However we are currently working with the British Educational and Communication Technology Agency (Becta) and with the office of the Information Commissioner to update the guidance including around the use of Biometric technologies.

Maybe Nick Gibb's and Sarah Teather's parliamentary questions, Jim Knight's 21 written communications, Tom Watson's petition and representaions by concerned parents and civil rights groups has had an effect.

When parliamentary written questions were posed by Nick Gibb and Sarah Teather, as late as October this year, no mention of this guidance was made - but if in the past 60+ days the government have decided to act on drafting some guidelines, then brilliant!

A given time scale would be good though.


Winston Smith said...

What a super blog. This is, as I think another commentator previously stated, one of the most important issues facing modern day society.

It absolutely infuriates me to think of this abuse of power being perpetrated against those who are unable to defend themselves.

Good luck with your campaign.

Pippa King said...

Thanks Winston :)

It is concerning how children are being told to issue up their biometric details by trusted grown-ups teachers, librarians, will grow up having no concept of owning their privacy and making informed decisions about who has it and why.