Friday, January 26, 2007

Early Day Motion - Biometric data collection in schools


Mulholland, Greg

That this House is alarmed at the growing practice of schools collecting and storing the biometric details of children as young as three; notes that up to 3,500 schools use biometric software to record the data of approximately three quarters of a million children; shares parents' concerns that children's data, often including photographs and fingerprints, is stored on unregulated data collection systems and potentially insecure school computer networks and could therefore potentially be misused; notes that collecting the data from children under 12 without parental consent directly contravenes the Data Protection Act; believes that no child should have biometric information taken without the express written permission of their parents; further believes that no child should be excluded from school activities where this permission is not forthcoming; welcomes the decision by the Department for Education and Skills to update guidance to local authorities and schools; and calls on the Government to conduct a full and open consultation with stakeholders, including parents and children, on this issue as part of their redrafting process.

The above Early Day Motion (EDM) has been laid down by Greg Mulholland MP for all MP's to sign, detailing issues and concerns surrounding the practice of children's biometric data collection in schools. This EDM has support from across the three main political parties.

Please take time to read the EDM and lobby your MP to sign it if the use of children's biometric data in schools concerns you.

For more information on this see Leave Them Kids Alone website.

The Open Rights Group (ORG) have sensible and practical advice on how to effectively lobby your MP by letter or email - it is worth reading.

Your MP's contact details can be found at Write To Them.


Anonymous said...

These systems DO NOT store images of the child's fingerprint. Do you understand how much of a resource strain it would be to save an image of every'd child print on a central database and then identify them? (The only technology that uses that, and for good reason, is law enforcement technology like the AFIS database.) These technologies create an identity template which is simply a small, 50 Byte or so binary file that represents a few strategic points on a child's fingerprint. That binary file is encrypted, but at the same time, it totally useless outside of the system. You can't turn a small, proprietary file into information. I suggest you learn more about the technology before you blog.

Anonymous said...

I do not care what form the data takes, it is wrong for schools to start to "desensitise" children in this way. We now see airports with openly armed officers, we teach them that a bottle of water is a dangerous item on airplanes, we tell them they must be "felt up" if they wish to go on a family holiday. It is all wrong, and it is ashame4 to see any adult condoning such abuse of our children.