Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Early Day Motion support in Westminster and a Motion in the Scottish Parliament

Early Day Motion 686 has got cross party support regarding concerns about biometric technology, parental consent and unregulated data collection systems.

Conservative Party - 11
Democratic Unionist Party - 1
Independent - 1
Labour Party - 7
Liberal Democrats - 35
Social Democratic and Labour Party - 2

In Scotland the MSP Patrick Harvie has a motion S2M-5567 urging for guidance on biometric technology in schools with 10 signatures.

S2M-5567 Patrick Harvie: Biometric and Surveillance Systems in Schools—That the Parliament notes the recent decision by UK ministers to issue guidance to schools on the use of biometric systems; welcomes the acknowledgement that a completely unregulated approach to such technologies is inappropriate; notes that biometric systems are in place in some Scottish schools; is concerned that the Scottish Executive’s initial description of parental consent as an "essential pre-requisite" before children can be fingerprinted has now been rephrased as merely a matter of "good practice"; considers that there is a need for clear guidance from the Executive on the use of biometric and surveillance systems in schools before any increase in their use is contemplated; notes that section 8 of the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill is expected to lead to increased use of such systems; urges the Executive to produce guidance for education authorities on the implementation of section 8 and, in so doing, to give clear preference to systems other than those involving biometric and data-gathering technology; further notes that recent calls have been made for schools to introduce ID cards, CCTV, airport-style security scanners and random drug testing, and considers that wider debate is required on the role, if any, of such measures, the impact they may have on school culture and the limits within which they should operate.

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