Saturday, June 07, 2008

Children's biometric data at risk

Just caught the below on the Thumbs down blog run by a parent, about the complete lack of security surrounding a computer with children's biometric data on - how appalling!

"A very short comment on the school’s security:

At pick up today we walked through the nursery playground. I usually go the other way, but we both went today.

The library is inside a cottage between the Nursery and the Infant School. As I walked past the cottage door, I noticed it was wide open.

Around the corner I glanced in through the library window and saw that the room was empty. 5 minutes or so later, after a significant number of parents had walked past it, the cottage door was still open.

I poked my head inside and called “Hello! Anybody there?” Quite loudly. Reply came there none, so I walked in the three steps to the library door, tried the handle and opened it. There by the door was the computer, with the thumbscanner, just to confirm it is the one with the biometric data inside.

This is the computer about which the Governors saidreasonable security measures are taken”."

Friday, June 06, 2008

School upsets parents by fingerprinting their kids

More than 700 students were fingerprinted last week by the Clinton County School District and some parents aren't happy. Parents learned about the fingerprinting only after it happened.

Unbelievable! Seems that the school authorities in the UK and USA are simply not grasping that before they go finger scanning, storing and recording our kids biometric data they must communicate with us on this or risk alienating the parent population . Some parents, in the UK, were so angered by this they went to the police.

More UK schools using childrens fingerprints

Biometric technology using children's fingerprints is well underway across the UK. When systems using biometric fingerprints can cost up to £27,000 this is certainly a big business concern (funded by our taxes!).

The Bexhill-on-sea Observer reports that William Parker Sports College in Hasting has gone fully cashless:

Biometric fingerprints will be used by both pupils and staff to pay for everything from school dinners to theatre trips.

"We will be the first school in the town to be a cashless college," said John Court. "All our catering and anything that parents have to pay for will be paid for from online student accounts."

and in the Journel Live in Tyneside...

A North Tyneside school is spending £15,000 on the latest fingerprinting technology to curb bullying at lunchtime. Every child attending Churchill Community College in Howdon, has had their thumb prints scanned ahead of the launch of the new cashless payment system after the half-term break.

The biometric system is designed to reduce bullying in schools and any potential stigma suffered by those receiving free school meals.

Was bullying so bad at Churchill Community College that they felt the need to throw £15,000 at it? Over in Lancashire it's reported that in Bowland High School:

School dinners have been given a hi-tech overhaul. Headteacher Mr Stephen Cox said:

"Although biometric identification has been used in schools for library use for a number of years, we are one of the first schools in Lancashire to embrace the technology for use in paying for school meals, while it is early days the pupils have embraced the technology and we are hoping it will enhance their lunchtime experience by speeding up service."