Schools get rules on biometrics

FingerprintThe debate about using biometrics systems for registration, library borrowing, or paying for school dinners rages on, and Becta have now given schools official (non statutory) guidelines to clarify how biometrics are to be used. There are potential benefits to using biometrics such as removing the need for pupils to carry money, speed up lunch queues, remove the stigma of singling out those on free school meals, not having to remember library loan cards, or passwords for the computer system; even as a tactic to reduce truancy. But there have been major concerns about how this data is stored and what it could be used for.

Becta’s ‘Guidance on the use of Biometric systems in schools’ (Word document):
http://schools.becta.org.uk/upload-dir/downloads/becta_guidance_on_biometric_technologies_in_schools.doc

Information Commissioner’s Office ‘The Use of biometrics in school’ (pdf):
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/detailed_specialist_guides/fingerprinting_final_view.pdf

BBC News story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6912232.stm

Biometrics in schools blog; “a concerned parent who doesn’t want her children to live in ‘1984’ type society”:
http://pippaking.blogspot.com/

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