Saturday, June 15, 2013

Who exactly supplies schools with biometric databases?

Think again when you are told that school biometric systems cannot exchange information or be compatible with other databases or that no one else has access to your child's biometric data. 

Northrop Grunman, a leading global security company that runs the UK Police fingerprint and DNA database and "works with governments, the Armed Forces, civil agencies and private sector companies around the world" also supplies biometric systems for children in schools. 
"AD&S provides biometric machines for companies ranging from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman Corp. to a small Atlanta airliner to more than 40 schools districts."  Mississippi Business Journal 14 June 2013
It is of no matter that this story comes from the US. Our UK government has no idea of the biometric technology used in UK schools, how secure it is or who supplies it. No checks are carried out at all, we know this through Freedom of Information requests.

So when you are asked for written consent for a school to store and process your child's fingerprint identifier (this becomes law in September 2013 in the UK) just bear in mind what you are giving up and to whom you may giving it to.  

Oh yes, we do have a Data Protection Act but we also have a situation where potentially police may have access to your child's biometric data too in UK schools - without parents knowledge.  There are protocols to follow I'm sure but here in the UK we do not have a great track record on storing data we do not need and then being fair in destroying it.  We only have to look at the UK Police National DNA database IDENT1 for that. 

"The DNA of thousands of innocent children is being taken by police and stored on the national database, campaigners say on Monday, citing new figures.  Police have taken the DNA of 120,000 children in the last two years" The Guardian 20th May 2013