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> West Berkshire schoolchildren routinely fingerprinted, SCHOOLCHILDREN are being routinely fingerprinted in some West Berkshir
Ruwan Uduwerage-...
post Oct 20 2012, 11:14 AM
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In 2009 the Guardian asked the question "Why are we fingerprinting children?" [url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/mar/06/fingerprinting-children-civil-liberties"].

The articles stated:

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The implications are vast – the nation's schools aren't exactly the safest place for the storage of this sensitive data – and anyone with access to the system and a mobile SIM card can download the information from a computer, increasing the chances of identity theft. Unless the computer system is professionally purged, before this data has a chance to be leaked, it can remain in cyberspace for eternity to be retained for all sorts of dubious purposes


Why have West Berkshire Schools chosen to support such a dubious scheme, which may well aid in cutting costs, but may also normalise, and the "cradle-to-grave state snooping and control" policies, that this and past Governments seem set on to erode the civil rights of the populace?
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Adrian Hollister
post Oct 20 2012, 11:40 AM
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I denied my school the right to do this (Brightwalton) - they had a hissy fit and it's caused all sorts of problems getting access to things that required finger prints. Not good.
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Penelope
post Oct 20 2012, 12:29 PM
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Can anyone out there tell me why we need to fingerprint kids?
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NWNREADER
post Oct 20 2012, 01:04 PM
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It is now called 'biometrics' and is a way of ensuring the identity of people seeking access to various services. UKBA use them on visitor visa applications so they can know the person given the visa and the person who turns up at the Port of Entry is the same. It seems schools (in this case) seek to use to ensure only entitled children take free school meals.

If a standalone system then the information can never be in 'cyberspace', but management and security of the information (as with any) is paramount. That includes purging (not just 'Deleting') redundant information.

If not done carefully the savings are exceeded by the costs.....

Not sure if it is a (central) government policy, or a clever salesman
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Adrian Hollister
post Oct 20 2012, 01:27 PM
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IMHO it is not something that we should impose on kids - especially primary school. Who knows what they do with the info...
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NWNREADER
post Oct 20 2012, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (Adrian Hollister @ Oct 20 2012, 02:27 PM) *
IMHO it is not something that we should impose on kids - especially primary school. Who knows what they do with the info...

What 'info'? If the database is stored on a system not connected to the internet the only info is 'This fingerprint was taken from John Smith and he is entitled to a free meal' or similar.
The devil will be in the detail, and such 'worthy' schemes can morph into something else, but a proper Security Operating System and management process should not allow any abuse.

I expect you have information about people on your computer. Does every one of them know what you have, why, what you plan to use it for and how you prevent it's use by anyone else?
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On the edge
post Oct 20 2012, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Oct 20 2012, 02:04 PM) *
......
Not sure if it is a (central) government policy, or a clever salesman


Brilliant observation! Well remember my other half, a few years back, coming back from her 'help at school' stint. She was helping some kids who had severe reading difficulty. One of the teachers gave her an electronic device to help. It didn't and she recognised it as a voice recognition toy she'd seen in Maplins, re-badged and repainted. Had been purchased by the school for £5,000; actual cost in Maplins £25 or there about. Added value could have been in the instructions; which turned out to be two sides of A4. Can't blame the sales guy!


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Strafin
post Oct 21 2012, 12:08 AM
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It's the culture that concerns me more than anything. Children growing up believing that security and surveillance of this level are necessary, and normal. The implication about everyone being under suspicion, including them.
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NWNREADER
post Oct 21 2012, 06:40 AM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Oct 21 2012, 01:08 AM) *
It's the culture that concerns me more than anything. Children growing up believing that security and surveillance of this level are necessary, and normal. The implication about everyone being under suspicion, including them.

"In God we trust. Everyone else is a suspect"
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user23
post Oct 21 2012, 07:38 AM
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I suspect that by the time these children are adults, biometrics will be a fairly common method of verifying one's identity to access services.
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blackdog
post Oct 21 2012, 08:45 AM
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Why are we so worried about the use of fingerprints?

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Adrian Hollister
post Oct 21 2012, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Oct 20 2012, 07:30 PM) *
If the database is stored on a system not connected to the internet


"If" is the right word. If they only store the biometic checksum, if they don't share it, if no one hacks it, if if if.

No details were provided other than "it is safe". All this in Brightwalton Primary School (not secondary) for books in the library... what a waste of money and risk to personal liberty.
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Strafin
post Oct 21 2012, 09:15 AM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Oct 21 2012, 08:38 AM) *
I suspect that by the time these children are adults, biometrics will be a fairly common method of verifying one's identity to access services.

Yes, that's my issue.
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NWNREADER
post Oct 21 2012, 09:20 AM
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QUOTE (Adrian Hollister @ Oct 21 2012, 10:06 AM) *
"If" is the right word. If they only store the biometic checksum, if they don't share it, if no one hacks it, if if if.

No details were provided other than "it is safe". All this in Brightwalton Primary School (not secondary) for books in the library... what a waste of money and risk to personal liberty.


If the system is stored on a system connected to the internet there is a Pandora's Box and a whole different debate;
If they are storing personal data in excess of that needed for the activity then the Data Commissioner will shut it down;
If such a system is used only for a primary school library system I suspect the 'salesman' comment applies.

No need to scaremonger, just ensure the issues are considered. Ask questions and challenge, but do not instantly scream the sky is falling
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Adrian Hollister
post Oct 21 2012, 09:20 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Oct 21 2012, 09:45 AM) *
Why are we so worried about the use of fingerprints?

The key for me here is more than just about the fingerprints (and the civil liberty issues) but the lack of information provided to adults who decide on something that could impact the child throughout their lives. Sending out a leaflet says "it is all ok" is just tosh.
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Adrian Hollister
post Oct 21 2012, 09:22 AM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Oct 21 2012, 10:20 AM) *
If the system is stored on a system connected to the internet there is a Pandora's Box and a whole different debate;
If they are storing personal data in excess of that needed for the activity then the Data Commissioner will shut it down;
If such a system is used only for a primary school library system I suspect the 'salesman' comment applies.

No need to scaremonger, just ensure the issues are considered. Ask questions and challenge, but do not instantly scream the sky is falling

Agree. There are lots of questions outstanding and no honest and independent answer.
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NWNREADER
post Oct 21 2012, 09:23 AM
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QUOTE (Adrian Hollister @ Oct 21 2012, 10:20 AM) *
The key for me here is more than just about the fingerprints (and the civil liberty issues) but the lack of information provided to adults who decide on something that could impact the child throughout their lives. Sending out a leaflet says "it is all ok" is just tosh.


Then sensible people should ask sensible questions in a way that finds meaningful and satisfactory answers - or discovers a problem that means the issue is agreed as being wrong (if only until corrected).

Hysteria is not a good tool for decision making or fact finding.
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NWNREADER
post Oct 21 2012, 09:26 AM
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QUOTE (Adrian Hollister @ Oct 21 2012, 10:22 AM) *
Agree. There are lots of questions outstanding and no honest and independent answer.


Then the Head Teacher should be asked, and the Governors. Sometimes their brief will be incomplete, and their knowledge limited to little more than the promoter has imparted....
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Berkshirelad
post Oct 21 2012, 10:01 AM
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The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 has specific clauses to deal with this (S26 - 28).

In short, for any school, both parents must be informed of the intention to use biometric data; at least one parent must give consent; if either parent objects then biometrics cannot be used; permission may be withdrawn at any time; permission must be in writing; objections must be in writing; regardless of the parents wishes, the child may refuse to provide biometric data; The DPA 1998 applies to all biometric data.

AFAIK, any school that implemented biometrics prior to the commencement of the Act, must apply for permission in accordance with the Act in order to continue using biometrics.
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Bartholomew
post Oct 21 2012, 12:18 PM
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QUOTE (Berkshirelad @ Oct 21 2012, 11:01 AM) *
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 has specific clauses to deal with this (S26 - 28).

In short, for any school, both parents must be informed of the intention to use biometric data; at least one parent must give consent; if either parent objects then biometrics cannot be used; permission may be withdrawn at any time; permission must be in writing; objections must be in writing; regardless of the parents wishes, the child may refuse to provide biometric data; The DPA 1998 applies to all biometric data.

AFAIK, any school that implemented biometrics prior to the commencement of the Act, must apply for permission in accordance with the Act in order to continue using biometrics.

I think that the issue with schools (and other organisations) using fingerprints to identify any individual is exactly as described here. It is up to the individual (or in school the parents or individual) to say whether this is an acceptable form of id. This leads to the question of whether rights can be removed because of refusal to use fingerprints. For example if this is used for library borrowing can a school solely use fingerprints or should they use another method as well? Can a school refuse library access because of a refusal?

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