Friday, January 26, 2007

Leave Them Kids Alone


"As you know, we’ve been working hard on the use of children’s fingerprints in school. Increasing numbers of schools are installing systems that use fingerprints as identifiers in the
school library or canteen and also for registration purposes.

We are at last making some real progress, and there are indications that the Information Commissioner may even seek amendment to the Data Protection Act.

We must keep up the pressure now. Greg Mulholland MP has tabled an Early Day Motion 686 which you can see

Please, please would you mind contacting your MP as soon as possible, asking him/her to sign this EDM. The more signatures it receives, the better the chance that we can get this worrying
practice stopped, or at least tightly regulated. You can email your MP easily through
this site.

It doesn’t matter if your child is not at school: it’s the whole principle of using biometrics for low-level purposes that is at stake here. If we simply let it carry on in schools, there is a
real risk that these systems could become routine in other situations – the local library? The leisure centre? "

Pippa and I have been working closely with Leave Those Kids Alone – see their
website for more information about the campaign."

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This is what I wrote (via Write to Them):

I am writing to ask if you would consider signing the Early Day Motion recently tabled by Greg Mulholland at

I share his concerns about the growing practice of the collection and storing of biometric details of children in schools where information such as photographs and fingerprints are stored on unregulated data collection systems and potentially insecure school computer networks where they could potentially be misused.

I also understand that collecting such data from children under 12 without parental consent directly contravenes the Data Protection Act.

I would ask you to call on the Government to conduct a full and open consultation with stake holders, including parents and children, on this issue as part of the review of guidance to be undertaken by the DfES.

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Paula said...

Thanks for that! I've pinched it and send it to my MP via the internet too!
Hope you don't mind...

Carlotta said...

That's great. Hoping it works.