Biometrics in Schools


Will biometric school registration systems and cashless catering ever be accepted by parents, there is an awful lot of suspicion surrounding the recording of biometric data of children and young adults…

shutterstock_45307633In 2001, a decision was made by the Information Commissioner’s Office that schools using biometric systems did not breach the Data Protection Act. This decision gave Britain the accolade of being the first country in the world to commercially market biometric technology to UK schools.

In the UK, schools hold masses of data about our children.  They are one of the most surveilled school populations in the world, not only in the subjects they study, their health and eating habits, but also through the use of biometrics and location RFID tagging.

Between 2001 and 2012, biometric systems in education were initially used for library systems in primary and secondary schools. By 2006 biometrics were increasingly used for cashless catering, school lockers, school trip money payments and registration.

In 2005, privacy organisations and parents concerned about the use of biometrics in schools began lobbying Parliament, with a particular focus on the fact that schools were taking children’s biometrics without informing parents.

A person’s biometric data does not fall under Part 2 of the Data Protection Act (DPA), Sensitive Personal Data. In a child’s case any Sensitive Personal Data needs parental permission if the schools wish to use it, therefore as biometric data is not included in this category of the DPA schools could use children’s biometrics and not need to tell parents….More at Biometrics And RFID Tracking In UK Education | OneWorldChronicle

There is obviously a lot of  mis-information and hysteria, surrounding the use of biometric fingerprint systems for class/attendance registration and cashless catering. An increase in the implementation biometrics in school attendance is on the cards.

The children themselves from our experience have no problem with the idea of biometrics and are not techno phobic like some of the teachers and parents can be.

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student attendance e-registration systems