Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Valid concerns from the USA

Patricia Deubel, Ph.D, voices her comments on the use of biometrics in schools, in the article "Biometrics in K-12: The Legal Conundrum", 10th April 2007, on the site The Journal, which is a publication aimed at educators across the USA. Although not a lawyer she cites some cautionary advice using this technology with children in schools.

Biometrics are among the latest implementations for school security. There are many issues to consider, which have been voiced by parents, students, and civil liberties groups.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects student records and might provide some protection for public disclosure of records stored in databases containing a student's biometric measurements...

And also James Carroll, writing "Fingerprint foreboding" in the Boston Globe, 9th April 2007, has his view on biometrics in schools after working for the FBI. The last part his article, below, is quite succinct:

Privacy, the dictionary says, is the state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion. But that definition seems anachronistic, with ubiquitous intrusion a new fact of life. For security, or mere efficiency, we Americans are sanctioning the end of our right to deny sanction to such invasion.

Now, of course, it is not just law enforcers in the mode of J. Edgar Hoover who have the capacity to intrude, but also MasterCard, the credit bureaus, the Google user, the phone company, the e-mail provider, the airport screener --
and the lunch room cashier in the local school.

And why shouldn't parents be uneasy?

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