Tuesday, 14 July 2009

King Edward VI - identity register protest

Students at King Edward VI Fiveways have set up a facebook page called No Biometric Thumbprints Please. They are objecting to being asked to have their thumbprints scanned as part of an internal electronic identity system.The school said the secure measure is simply aimed at replacing pupil data cards, which occasionally get lost.

The system is be used in the canteen, library, registration and access control to school buildings.

Pupils say that as all of the information would be collected in a central database, the school would be able to build up a profile of students by monitoring their food habits, reading habits and movements around school, a practice they claim has been widely criticised by both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, and also in the House of Lords as intrusive.

The story has been reported in the Birmingham Post.

All this would appear to have been decided without adequate consultation with pupils or parents. (But then parents were not consulted regarding ContactPoint either). The students' open letter states:

There is the alternative of using only a PIN number, but this wasn't made clear on the letter sent to parents, and lots of students were unaware of it. Many students have expressed no knowledge of the plans whatsoever.

We'd like the system to be scrapped with no biometric thumbprint scans or PIN numbers being used.
... This is a clear breach of personal privacy.

Some students are now calling for plans to be immediately halted until parents are properly consulted, and have called on pupils and parents to contact their MP.

After all on the school's website it is proudly proclaimed that:
there are a wide variety of clubs at lunchtime or after school, including Chess, Politics, Debating,... What more apposite topic to debate than The database school?

NO2ID would be more than willing to participate.

See also Pupil Power Davenant Foundation School students protest at CCTV.

See also LTKA Leave Them Kids Alone

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