Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Updates coming... new developments

Since I started this blog over 10 years ago the state of surveillance, monitoring and application of biometric technology used in schools on our children, the next generation, has increased beyond imagination.  Okay, there may be arguments that his 'improves' their education, enables better educational analysis, reduce admin time/costs, etc... but personally, I've not seen a dramatic increase in the next generations intellectual ability or schools being more affluent because of technology.  Certainly here in the UK we currently have a national funding crisis in education. 

It is a different education that is needed for today's kids.  Access to information is greater to an individual than ever before.  Knowing and retaining information in this age maybe is not a necessity as much as it was.  Moreover how to apply that knowledge in this ever changing society perhaps is a skill children should learn.  Discernment, where one's digital footprint is left and the data left again one's digital identity should also be considered.  How, who and what may be assumed by a children's online activities on the Internet - and within a school network - is a burgeoning area that needs urgent consideration, especially for those it could potentially affect in decades to come. 

With governments, private education tech companies and private companies running schools having access to individual educational data from the age of 2 years old (in the UK) to 19 and beyond gives an enormous potential for profiling.  I could write about this for an age, as these are all points that have been raised with the proliferation of technology in education for the past decade plus.

What to do?  I have been absent somewhat from blogging here as the transfer of biometric technology tested used on children in the UK has now widened into the rest of society.  My concern is when the state uses biometric technology without consent, much as schools did from 2001 - 2013 in the UK.  I set up a sister blog a couple of years ago to keep the two developments of biometric technology, schools / wider society, separate - see my State of Surveillance website.

However, there is now an issue of facial recognition creeping into US and Chinese schools for a variety of reasons.  Here in England and Wales (not Scotland or Northern Ireland) facial recognition is not viably an option for schools with under 18 year olds, as per the consent required under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.   The argument for the use of biometrics in schools - whether  fingerprint or facial recognition - is basically unproven, as other, less invasive, less 'valuable', means of identification will suffice.   This is an issue I intend to raise again here.

So, hopefully, (in a rather large nutshell) I've explained my absence and fully intend at least once a week to start again back here.   T'will be nice to get back to it!