Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Regulation deadline has not been met by Government for millions of children's biometrics held on school PC's

Both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are vocalising their serious concerns about using biometric fingerprint scanners in schools (see blog side bar of parliamentary questions asked), and experts such as Kim Cameron express worries about this practise.

Even BECTA recognises the "concerns of parents" and internationally Roderick Woo, Justice of the Peace at the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner, states about the use of biometrics in schools:
"I considered the consent of the staff and pupils rather dubious, because primary school's consent in law cannot be valid and there's undue influence. If the school says, 'give up your fingerprint', there's no way of negotiating.
"Also it's not a good way to teach our children how to give privacy rights the consideration they deserve,"
The Irish Data Commissiors Office has this guidance issued and warns schools about the danger of legal action, "claim for damages from a student", if they don't implement a detailed Privacy Impact Assessment.

There are laws in the USA regulating this technology and children.
But when schools send letters like this school in Doncaster did to parents, and another example over on Tarique Naseem's blog something is radically wrong.
What is going on when we parents have to sign slips for our child's image to be taken but yet when it comes to their bodily biometric data lying on a school PC - no consent, no even letting us know, no nothing!
Why, when ALL the above people and more are expressing serious concerns with fingerprinting children in schools, is the government not moving on the promised guidelines,as stated from 10 Downing Street , it said it would issue at the end of March?

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